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Kill Total: 1 Kill place: London
Kill date: 13th May 1900 Victim(s): Edith Poole
Date of Birth: unknown Marital Status: Single






Alfred Highfield and Edith Poole seemed to be such a well matched and devoted couple. They had been seeing each other for some six years and had set a provisional wedding date for August 1900.

On Easter Monday, the young couple had argued about something and Edith now refused to have anything more to do with Alfred. In later statements, Alfred would blame Edith for losing him his job as a labourer at the Westminster Brewery Company, and it may well have been over this particular matter that they had disagreed.

What is certain is that in the early stages at least, Alfred appeared to blame himself for the break-up and wrote to Edith apologising for having offended her. It was no use. She did not want to have anything more to do with him.

Edith's family were still on good terms with Alfred and on 13th May her brother invited Alfred to tea. Edith was there and it may be that there was a plan to deliberately manoeuvre them together in the hope that they would sort out their differences. During that meeting, Alfred again asked Edith if they might go on seeing each other and again Edith was firm in her resolve that the relationship was over. It was a quiet and subdued Alfred who went out with the family, and some of their friends, for a walk after tea.



Alfred and Edith walked behind the rest of the group, talking quietly to each other. As the party strolled down Great Queen Street, near Lincoln's Inn Fields, they heard a cry and turning around, saw Alfred kneeling over the prostrate figure of Edith.

Running back, Edith's brother pulled Alfred off his sister and saw to his horror that Edith's throat had been cut. She was rushed to hospital where she died, nine days after the attack upon her. Alfred, at first facing an assault charge, now faced one of murder.

At the trial, Alfred's defence was one of manslaughter. He claimed that he had asked Edith one last time to start seeing him again. When she had refused, he had taken out the razor he habitually carried with him, in order to take his own life. Edith had struggled with him in an attempt to stop him and he must have accidentally cut her throat whilst they were fighting.

This scenario did not appear to agree with the statements Alfred had made immediately after the attack when he was still facing the lesser charge. When told how badly injured Edith was, Alfred said; "I know what I have done. I don't care if I die for it."

At first, the jury were unable to agree on a verdict. After ninety minutes of deliberation they returned to court to inform the judge that eleven had voted one way, with the twelfth person in opposition. Sent back to their chamber by the judge, the twelve finally agreed that Alfred was guilty of murder, but added a recommendation to mercy on acount of the excitement he was in at the time, his youth, and his previous good character.

Alfred Highfield did not escape the noose though and was hanged exactly eight weeks after his sweetheart had died

Alfred was Hanged at Newgate at 17th July 1900.