West Indies Test Cricketer Leslie Hylton hung for Murdering wife
West Indian Test Cricketer hung for murder
Leslie George Hylton is the only test cricketer that has even been hung for committing a murder.
Hylton made six appearances for the West Indies between 1935 and 1939 and helped to win against R.E.S.Wyatt’s touring side in the 1934/1935 tour taking 13 wickets in four tests at an average of 19.3. In 1939 the West Indies toured England and Hylton’s fare was paid by public subscription. He did not play well taking just three wickets in two tests.
BACKGROUND TO THE SHOOTING
In 1954 when Hylton had retired from first class cricket and was aged 49 his wife Lurlene confessed that she had been adulterous with a well known womaniser Roy Francis., whilst she was on a dress making course in the USA. Apparently she told Hylton that she was in love with Roy and that her body belonged to him and raised her nightdress as if to show Hylton what he was missing. Hyltons actions were extreme. He took a gun and shot his wife seven times.
After the shooting Hylton phoned the police and the case then proceeded to trial Hylton was defended by his Jamaican team cricket captain Noel Nethersole and Vivian Blake. As part of Hylton’s defence case the barrister produced a letter written by Lurlene to Roy Francis. It said “my beloved, I’m realizing even more than I did before how much I love you, I am going to force my man’s hand as soon as I can” Blake argued that it was reasonable that any man hearing this information from his wife might respond in a moment of passion and reach for the revolver as Hylton did. It is unfortunate for Hylton that this did not happen at a later date as modern day juries might be more inclined to accept this explanation of events. The second line of defence was that Hylton was trying to shoot himself but kept missing which seemed odd because as seven shots were fired into Lurlene he would have to have stopped to load the revolver and realise that Lurlene had been shot.
VERDICT AND PUNISHMENT
Unsurprisingly, the jury took just 90 minutes to convict Hylton. However the jury made a strong recommendation for mercy but were ignored. Hylton was converted to Catholicism whilst in the death cell and was hung at St Catherine’s prison, Jamaica on 17th May 1955.
If you look in Wisden cricketers almanac all it states is that he died in Jamaica, not that he was hung or that he killed his wife.