21st April 1965

Man pleads guilty to party shooting

Hilarity turned to horror at what The Mirror described as “a gay drinking party on a holiday island” when the 25-year-old host, Richard Murray-Stableford, produced a gun and began randomly shooting. One shot hit Patrick Wilkinson from Leeds, one of two guests at the party, who fell down dead.

Rather than showing immediate remorse, Murray-Stableford turned to the only remaining guest, Doreen Hollobone, to drink a toast, which she did, apparently only because she was afraid of what he might otherwise have done. But, humouring him was no good. As soon as they had downed their drinks, he shot her six times. She survived and told police everything from her hospital bed.

Death sentence

London-born Murray-Stableford didn’t make any attempt to deny what he’d done, and he was sentenced to death when the case came to court. The sentence was reviewed by the home secretary, as all death sentences were, and commuted to life imprisonment. Although initially sent to Wormwood Scrubs in London, he was moved back to Jersey so that he would serve his sentence closer to his recently widowed mother.


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