13th September 1959
Jersey police chief’s son campaigns for killer’s reprieve
Frances Joseph Huchet was tried and convicted of shooting John Perree, and of burying his body in the dunes near St Brelade. His sentence, as was customary at the time, was to be hanged. It had taken just three days to hear all of the evidence, yet it was so convincing that the verdict had been handed down after less than 90 minutes’ deliberation.
Yet not everyone wanted to see the convicted man die and, as reported by The People on 13 September – three days after the trial had been brought to a close, a petition was being circulated on the island, calling for his reprieve. The person organising the petition was Peter Le Brocq, which was notable, as he was the son of the island’s Chief of Police.
Huchet, the paper explained, was the first person to be sentenced to death in Jersey for 52 years. Ultimately the petition failed, and Huchet also became the last person executed in the Channel Islands. All further executions were commuted to life sentences until the death penalty was abolished in 1986.
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