DS James Stanford

Detective Sergeant Jim Stanford of the Wolverhampton Borough Police was only 40 years of age and married with 3 children when he was stabbed to death in the doorway of Victoria Wines on Princes Square on the 20th August 1965. A frantic 999 call was made and Jim was heard in the background to say 'I'm dying missus' and to state the name of his callous attacker.

Officers were immediately dispatched to the scene and to the home address of the suspect, after officers established he was a local youth.

In a strange twist of fate, the offender did not go home as one might suspect - but instead went to the Gaumont Cinema at Snow Hill to watch a movie. Bizarrely, he showed the bloody knife to a man in the toilets and stated 'I have done a copper with this'. The man promptly went to the manager who called the police and the offender, who turned out to be an absconder from a Borstall institution, was promptly arrested.

DS Stanford was posthumously awarded the Queen's Police Medal. The awful circumstances of the murder of Jim echoed the tragic tale of PC Albert Willits who was shot to death when he challenged youths who had also absconded from an institution back in 1925.

Further information:

http://www.narpo.jkbagnall.co.uk/jimstanford.html

© 2020 West Midlands Police Heritage Project

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