British Executions

See Lee

Age: 39

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 30 Mar 1909

Crime Location: 13 Dickinson Street,Off Upper Frederick Street, Liverpool

Execution Place: Liverpool

Method: hanging

Executioner: Henry Pierrepoint


See Lee murdered Yun Yap 40 who he shot at 13 Dickinson Street, Off Upper Frederick Street in Liverpool on 4 December 1908.

Yun Yap and See Lee had both been regular visitors to a woman’s home at 13 Dickinson Street who was ill at the time with peritonitis.

See Lee became jealous of Yun Yap and shot him.

See Lee was a fireman and Yun Yap was a Chinese cook. They had both been friendly with the woman who was the wife of a Chinese ship's steward who at the time was away on a voyage.

It was said that the woman had admitted that she had at one time in the past lived an irregular life but it was said that there was nothing to show that her relationship with either of the men was anything other than friendship.

The woman kept a boarding house and had been ill for about two months and both See Lee and Yun Yap had appeared to visit her every day. On 3 December 1908 they had both been in her room together and had at the time appeared to be on friendly terms.

The next day See Lee visited the woman at about 4pm but didn't stay long. Yun Yap then visited her at about 9pm and while he was in her room leaning on a bed rail at the foot of the bed talking to the woman, See Lee came into the room and without a word or a struggle he shot Yun Yap in the side.

Yun Yap died three days later on 7 December 1908 from septic poisoning set up by the bullet that had pierced his intestines.

Yun Yap made a dying deposition that corroborated the statement of the woman.

After the shooting, See Lee left the room, but was arrested later that night at the railway station where he said that he was bound for Glasgow, Cardiff and then Hong Kong.

See Lee first said that he had gone into the room and said that Yun Yap had pointed the gun at him and that he had taken it off of him and shot him in self-defence. He later said that there had been a struggle during which the gun had gone off. The police report stated that both of his stories were untrue and that there could have been no doubt that he had gone to the house armed with the revolver with the deliberate intention of shooting Yun Yap if he was there and that the motive was jealousy.

The woman said that her husband had gone to China about four months earlier. She said she had known See Lee for about eight years and said that Yun Yap had been her cook and that he had left their employ about a month earlier.

She said that Yun Yap came to see her at 9pm and shortly after they heard someone coming up the stairs and that Yun Yap then went to the door to see who was coming up and that she then saw See Lee come into the room and then saw the revolver go off. She said that she didn't see the revolver and only heard it. She said that Yun Yap had been standing at the foot of the bed on the right side and that See Lee had been standing at the opposite corner of the bed near the chest, about a couple of yards away from Yun Yap.

She said that when the smoke cleared she saw Yun Yap holding his hand to his side and trying to speak. She said that he was still standing at that time but then reeled and fell across the foot of the bed.

She said that she then asked See Lee what he had done to poor Suckey, which was what she called Yun Yap and said that See Lee then left and went down the stairs without saying anything.

She said that she then jumped out of bed and put on some clothes and when another woman came in they undid Yun Yap's belt and found that he was bleeding. She said that after See Lee left there was no pistol and said that she had never seen him before with a pistol. She said that if Yun Yap had had a pistol then she would have seen him take it out. She said that both See Lee and Yun Yap were in the room when the shot was fired.

In court See Lee said that Yun Yap had produced the revolver from his hip pocket when he had entered the room and that he then held it and turned it around and said, 'Let it go', but he would not and said that he then shot himself. He said that he was frightened and so he then ran away. He said that he had no revolver with him but had seen Yun Yap with one before in a gaming house. He said that they had not had a quarrel and said that he was not jealous of Yun Yap but thought that Yun Yap had been jealous of him.

see National Archives - ASSI 52/147, HO 144/907/176776

see Western Times - Friday 02 April 1909