British Executions

John Alexander Dickman

Age: unknown

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 9 Aug 1910

Crime Location:

Execution Place: Newcastle

Method: hanging

Executioner: unknown


John Dickman was convicted of the murder of John Innes Nisbet who was forty four, a wages clerk, who was murdered in a railway carriage outside Newcastle. On the morning of Friday 18 March, the slow train from Newcastle to Morpeth pulled in at the small town of Alnmouth. A porter opened a door and found the body of Nisbet under a seat. He had been shot dead and robbed of his satchel containing almost 400. Witnesses recalled seeing Nisbet board the train in the company of another man who had since vanished but was later identified as John Dickman, a professional gambler. When interviewed. he admitted being on the train but denied the murder. His ready replies to their questions drew suspicion upon himself and so a search of his house was made, unearthing a pair of blood stained trousers and a number of gold sovereigns. When placed on an identity parade, he was picked out by several people as Nisbet's travelling companion. A probe into his background found that he had been having trouble with mounting debts thus supplying a motive. The evidence was all circumstantial but the police believed that they had a strong case and he was committed for trial. On 4th July he was tried by Lord Coleridge at Newcastle Assizes. Despite evidence that the body had gunshot wounds from two different guns - suggesting the work of two killers - Dickman was convicted. Passing the death sentence, Lord Coleridge added: 'In your hunger for gold you had no pity on the victim you slew.' The conviction caused a public outcry, and a mass protest took place outside of the prison while he was hanged by John Ellis and William Willis. The sentence was carried out on forty five year old Dickman on the 9th August 1910 in Newcastle.