British Executions

John Howard Godar

Age: 31

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 5 Sep 1952

Crime Location: Uxbridge, London

Execution Place: Pentonville

Method: hanging

Executioner: Albert Pierrepoint


John Godar murdered his girlfriend Maureen Jones Cox 20 who he stabbed to death in a taxi-cab, Uxbridge, London on 6 June 1952.

He stabbed her in a cab and then asked the driver to take him to the police station. When he got to Uxbridge Police Station at 12.40am on 7 June 1952 he said 'I want you to take me inside'. I've killed a woman I think'. There was blood on both his hands and clothes. As the policeman went out into the passageway to go outside John Godar said I think you'll find she's dead'.

When he got outside he saw taxicab index number CLU 327 with the offside door of the cab, which was open, nearest to the police station and inside a woman in a sitting posture on the floor with her back against the nearside door. the policeman noted that there was blood on her face and there were puncture wounds on the left side of her head, face, neck, chest and breast and the upper part of her clothign was saturated with blood. He then saw a closed knife on the nearside of the back seat with bloodstains on it.

The policeman then went in the cab with the body of Maureen Cox to Hillingdon Hospital.

Later at 2am on 7 June 1952 the police informed John Godar that they had just seen the dead body of Maureen Cox at Hillingdon Hospital and said that they understood that he thought he had killed her. John Godar said 'That's right sir'. They then asked him if he wanted to make a statement and John Godar said 'I'd rather let it go. I want to get where she is quick'. when he was charged he said 'that's right.I just want to go where she is as quickly as possible and no messing about'.

The cab driver said that he was at the rear of Uxbridge Underground Station when he saw John Godar with Maureen Cox who got into his cab and asked to go to Maple Cross. He ssaid that after a minute he heard a slight squeal from inside the cab saying that it was a female noise and lasted for 2-3 seconds and then everything went quiet and he continued driving. Then after another mile he heard shouts of 'Help, help' from the woman in a frenzied manner and heard banging on the cab windows from inside. He said he then stopped the cab and got out of the drivers seat having switched on the interior light and opened the nearside door and saw Maureen Cox slumped on the floor against the nearside door. He said that as he opened the door John Godar tried to roll the body out but he stopped it from falling out. He said the body seemed quite inert.

The cab driver said that John Godar said 'I have hurt her'. The cab driver said he lifted her into the cab and said 'I am going to turn round and go straight back.' and that John Godar said 'Quite right' and the cab driver then drove back to Uxbridge Police Station. He said that when he arrived at the police station he sounded his horn to attrack attention and then John Godar got out of the cab and went into the police station and he followed him up the steps.

John Godar had shared a flat on the High Street in Uxbridge with a merchant seaman for the last 3 years and had known him for the last 6 years. The merchant seaman said that he remembered John Godar going to italy about 3 years before in connection with his employment and had brought back a knife with him that he used to carry about with him. He said that he last saw John Godar at Uxbridge Station at 11pm with Maureen Cox and that he had told him that he was going to get arried to Maureen Cox. He said he last saw them heading towards the trains.

John Godar and Maureen Cox had known each other for 12 months and had been constantly together for the last 9 months. Maureen Cox's mother said that there had been an estrangement between them about Whitsun and on 3 June John Godar went to see Maureen Cox's mother and they spoke about his former marriage which the moter had first heard about the week before. John Godar said that he got diverced on 3 June and that there was a child from that marriage and added that he was very young when he married. She said that he seemed upset and asked if she thought Maureen Cox would take him back. He asked her if her should meet her at her work and asked if he could see her once a week as a friend and said that she had given him up. She said that John Godar called on the Wednesday night but that Maureen Cox was at the pictures and that he had waited until she returned and arranged to go out together on the Friday.

When John Godar called on the Friday he told Maureen Cox that he had been unable to get tickets for the theatre but that Maureen Cox had said that that was alright as they could go wor a walk or go to the pictures'.

When the mother saw John Godar at Brixton Prison on 9 June at 10.30am she said she asked him if, when he came to her house on the Friday night that he had had the intention in his heart to do what he did that night and said that he didnt answer right away and kept fidgetting and then turned around and said 'No I did not'. She said that he then said that they had had  a marvellous evening together and that Maureen had promised to marry him on the following Friday. the mother said she then asked him what came over him in the cab and John Godar sais he could not remember anything and that everything blacked out'.

The mother said that John Godar was fanatically in love with her daughter and that from September 1951 when he had first met her he had spent practically every evening with her and met her at her house about 6.30pm nearly every evening.  She said that when Maureen Cox found out that John Godar had been married before and had a child that she was shaken and wanted to be sure that she wasnt making a mistake. She said that the estrangement was because Maureen couldnt make up her mind to marry him because he had been married before and the fact that he had not told her himself had upset her more.

the mother said that on the Friday night when John Godar was at her house he had refused a cup of tea and said that that was the first time he had refused a cup of tea and said that he seemed very quiet.

the pathologist found 48 stab wounds on her body and 8 abrasions on the front of her throat. He said 20 of the stab wounds were on the left temple and cheek and 8 stab wounds to the throat and 20 stab wounds to the chest. He said that 3 of the stab wounds had reached her heart and 1 had reached her left lung. He said that death was caused by haemorrhage from stab wounds to the heart  and that death would have been caused very rapidly. He said that he found no protective marks on her hands or forearms.

see National Archives - CRIM 1/2235, DPP 2/2167, PCOM 9/2192

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