Date Of Execution: 30 Dec 1908
Crime Location: 5 Aberfawr Terrace, Abertridwr
Execution Place: Cardiff
Executioner: Henry Pierrepoint
Noah Percy Collins was convicted of the murder of his ex-girlfriend Annie Dorothy Lawrence 19 and sentence to death.
He stabbed her to death at 5 Aberfawr Terrace, Abertridwr, near Caerphilly on 17 August 1908. He stabbed her seven times because she refused to kiss him and keep company with him. He was a miner and lodged at the home of Annie Lawrence.
Annie Lawrence had got up early to prepare food for her brother and Noah Collins to take to the colliery. After her brother left Noah Collins came down stairs to ask her to be his sweetheart but she told him that she had given her affections to another. Then, at some stage he stabbed her to death. There was no row. Annie Lawrence's mother heard her screams and came running downstairs but the kitchen door was locked. She kicked it down to find her dead in a pool of blood. Her throat had been cut from ear to ear and she had been stabbed in the heart, throat and back.
Before he was executed he wrote a confession 'When I realised how unhappy I was, I tried to hate her. That proved impossible. I always wanted to be near her. Had so much love for her so I determined to kill her. It was too late to give me up after making a sacred promise to be my wife.'
Noah Collins was a collier's-helper and was described as quiet, sober and respectable.
He had lodged at Annie Lawrence's mothers house for 12 months along with Annie Lawrence's brother, sister and another lodger.
Letters were found, dated March 1908, written by Noah Collins to Annie Lawrence in which it appeared that they had been to some extent sweethearts at one time but Annie Lawrence's family were unaware of it and it appeared that Annie Lawrence had finally not been willing to accept him.
Noah Collins had bought two knives or daggers, one with a sheaf, on 15 August 1908 in Cardiff.
On the Monday morning Noah Collins made an excuse not to get up as he meant to lose a day and came down as the two other men had gone to work and found Annie Lawrence who had been getting their breakfast. Annie Lawrence's mother then heard a scream and found the kitchen door bolted from the inside. She burst it open and found Annie Lawrence lying in a pool of blood. Noah Collins then ran out. He had stabbed her eleven times, seven wounds of which would have been fatal. The two knives, one of which was broken, lay beside her with the broken piece in one of her wounds.
Her post-mortem showed that she was a virgin.
Noah Collins later gave himself up to a signalman on the line which ran past the house.
In a statement to the police he had said 'I threatened her six months ago and said that I would kill her unless she would make it up with me. I had weighed it all up, I knew exactly what I had done. I intended going to work on the screens. I heard a man had left but I thought I would wait for two reasons. First, to see how Dorothy would be to me. Of course, if she would be all right I would go to work on the screens. I asked her if she would kiss me. She refused and ran round the table and said she would shout to her mother. Then she made for the door. It was then that I lifted up the knife to her. I bought the knives in Cardiff on Saturday in an Italian shop.'.
see Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Thursday 31 December 1908
see Tamworth Herald - Saturday 22 August 1908
see National Archives - ASSI 72/34/2, HO 144/892/172077