British Executions

Michael Fagan

Age: 27

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 6 Dec 1911

Crime Location: 128 Arlington Street, Liverpool

Execution Place: Liverpool

Method: hanging

Executioner: John Ellis


Michael Fagan was convicted of the murder of 2-year-old Lucy Kennedy and sentenced to death.

He beat her to death with a belt at 128 Arlington Street in Liverpool on 9 September 1911.

When he was arrested he said, 'I just smacked it with the belt'.

Lucy Kennedy's mother was a charwoman and lived at 128 Arlington Street with Michael Fagan and his wife.

She said that on 9 September 1911 she went out with Michael Fagan's wife at about 5.45pm to make some purchases and had asked Michael Fagan to keep an eye on Lucy Kennedy. She said that Lucy Kennedy was fully dressed when she went out.

She said that Michael Fagan was the worse for drink but sensible.

She said that when she returned at about 7.10pm she found Lucy Kennedy in her bedroom unconscious and noticed that she had a black eye, a swollen mouth and a bruised forehead.

She said that Michael Fagan was not in the house when she got back and found Lucy Kennedy injured.

Lucy Kennedy's mother said that she then took Lucy Kennedy to the doctor and then to the Stanley Hosptial. Lucy Kennedy's mother said that when she was at the hospital she saw black and blue marks about Lucy Kennedy's body that were not there when she had left the house at 5.45pm.

Lucy Kennedy's mother said that later that night she was standing at the door of 128 Arlington Street with Michael Fagan's wife when she saw Michael Fagan come down the street. She said that Michael Fagan's wife asked him, 'What have you done Mike', and said that Michael Fagan said, 'Nothing', and that Michael Fagan's wife then said, 'Yes you have'. She said that Michael Fagan then said, 'What do you want to know for', and that Michael Fagan's wife told Michael Fagan, 'Because little Lucy is in the hospital', to which she said Michael Fagan replied, 'Yes and I'll put you there'.

Lucy Kennedy's mother said that Michael Fagan looked very wild about the eyes.

The next day Lucy Kennedy's mother went to the hospital where she found out that Lucy Kennedy was dead.

Lucy Kennedy's mother identified a belt that she said Michael Fagan had been wearing the day before but said that it was not then broken.

A policeman with the City Force said that at about 12.45am on 10 September 1911 he was in Stanley Road when Lucy Kennedy's mother came up to him and told him something. He said that he then went back to Michael Fagan's house where he saw Michael Fagan lying on a bed sobbing. He said that he asked him what the matter was, but said that he made no reply. The policeman said that he stayed there until he heard from the hospital that Lucy Kennedy was dead and then arrested Michael Fagan and charged him with causing the death of Lucy Kennedy. He said that when he cautioned Michael Fagan, Michael Fagan said 'I never did nothing to the child. I just smacked its arse with a belt that’s all'.

When Michael Fagan was asked where his belt was said that it was in a box in the bedroom. When a policeman found it he said that when he went to look he found four pieces of leather belt, two of which were tied together by string. He said that the larger of the two pieces had a union button on it and the smallest of the two pieces of leather had an iron buckle sewn to it in the ordinary way and seemed to have been recently sewn or tied with string to the other pieces of leather. He said that all four of the pieces seemed to have been part of one belt.

A Medical Officer at Stanley Hospital said that Lucy Kennedy was brought in on 9 September 1911 at 8.20pm. He said that she was suffering from convulsions, bleeding from the nose, and had a large number of recent bruises on her body. He said that Lucy Kennedy died shortly before midnight.

The Medical Officer said that he was present on 11 September 1911 when the post-mortem was carried out and said that Lucy Kennedy had about 40 bruises on her body, head, face and legs which he said were probably caused by about 15 to 20 blows. He said that the injuries could have been caused by the belt and noted that it the blows had been caused whilst Lucy Kennedy had been dressed and that they must have been violent. He said that her skin was broken at the back of the head, on the upper lip, and on both legs and also said that some of the bruises might have been cause by kicks.

Lucy Kennedy's cause of death was given as shock and exhaustion as a result of the injuries and accelerated by the convulsions.

see Grantham Journal - Saturday 16 September 1911

see Dundee Evening Telegraph - Wednesday 08 November 1911

see Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail - Monday 11 September 1911

see National Archives - ASSI 52/175