Flashback: A murder investigation continues, no-go for a football competition and a pet killed

60-years-ago. Picture: Romford Library

60-years-ago. Picture: Romford Library - Credit: Romford Library

A look back at the biggest local stories from this day 20, 40 and 60 years ago.


A 26-year-old Elm Park lorry driver was charged with the murder of Sophia Barber, a 61-year-old Dagenham woman fund strangled in a 4ft deep ditch in Rainham Road, Rainham.

He was going to appear before Stratford Magistrates’ Court.

The man, who had been assisting police in their inquiries for three days, drove a large green van for a Romford haulage contractors.

The van was taken to Scotland Yard for a thorough examination by forensic experts.

Det Insp McAferty also took the man’s clothing and samples of his finger nails back with him to the police laboratories.

Most Read

Before the 26-year-old was charged, Det Sup John Blue said: “He is still assisting us.

“He is quite happy to help us whenever he can.”


The Recorder had been ruled “offside” by the biggest referees in the soccer game, the Football Association, after being told that the newspaper could not hold a carnival seven-a-side football tournament.

Dozens of local junior sides and the Big Six senior sides in the area intimated their interest.

But they couldn’t move without FA permission.

The FA, which disregarded the competition which was for a charity for the elderly, said: “These competitions are not allowed in the close season.”

Member of the carnival executive committee Anthony Motteram said: “We are accustomed to having our affairs guided by self-appointed bodies in the business world but we are very surprised to see this attitude spread to the sporting field.”


A Romford mother whose pet cat was savagely kicked to death by drunken revellers on their way home from a nightspot said: “They should bring back hanging for what they did”.

Sickened Edna Griffith found her 10-year-old pet Jess dead on her neighbour’s driveway with the footprint of one of the thug’s shoes imprinted on its head.

She then had to give the heartbreaking news to her three teenage children.

Mrs Griffith, of Junction Road, Romford, said: “If the police catch who did this they should hang them, they’re a disgrace to the human race.

“I’m always getting trouble from thugs leaving Pulse nightclub. They kick my wall over and damage my car but this is the final straw.

“Anyone who has ever had to tell their young children that their cat has been murdered will know how heartbreaking it is.”