British Executions

William John Corbett

Age: 32

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 12 Aug 1931

Crime Location:

Execution Place: Cardiff

Method: hanging

Executioner: unknown


William Corbett murdered his wife Ethel Louisa Corbett 39 during an argument by cutting her throat with a razor.

He had recently lost his job as a miner and became depressed. On 24 March Ethel Corbett went to the police to say that her husband was acting strangely and had asked for a razor, however they said there was nothing they could do as he had not threatened her. The next day they had a row with Ethel Corbett making accusations that something had happened between him and their 17 year old step-daughter. They rowed and he pulled a razor from his pocket and cut her throat. He then struck at the step daughter but she grabbed the handle of the knife and survived his attacks.

He also tried to cut his own throat but survived and ran off. He was caught by a policeman a mile and a quarter away. When told that he was being arrested for the murder of his wife he said 'Is she dead?' He was also charged with attempting to commit suicide. To that he said 'During the last twelve weeks there has been nothing but a dark cloud over my head. Worrying over the children for food and clothing.'

see National Archives - DPP 2/15, ASSI 72/57/1

see Gloucester Citizen - Thursday 09 April 1931