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

PUBLISHED: 12:00 03 June 2018

60-years-ago. Picture: Romford Library

60-years-ago. Picture: Romford Library

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.

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.”


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford News Stories

11 minutes ago

Doormen from a Hornchurch pub came to the rescue of a man who had been stabbed on his way home from a night out.

The hard work of students and staff at Havering Sixth Form College has seen the institution awarded a Good rating by Ofsted.


Musical theatre star Lee Mead will share some of the magical moments that have taken place in his career with audiences at the Hornchurch theatre next year.


The annual Christmas Cracker returned to Hornchurch this weekend as residents gathered to watch the moment this year’s Christmas lights were turned on.


Childhood friends were delighted when they more than tripled their target to raise funds for Children with Cancer UK with a special haircut in Upminster.


A 33-year-old man has been charged with drink driving following a car crash with an ambulance in Romford.

Saint Francis Hospice’s choir raised nearly £2,000 after hosting its Autumn Voices concert.

Havering and Redbridge’s London Assembly member, Keith Prince, has been officially reselected by the Conservative party to contest the seat in the 2020 elections.


From November, The Mercury in Romford begins to celebrate Christmas. The mall has plenty of gift ideas, fun events and activities for everyone

Vauxhall has completed its sport utility vehicle range with the third, and largest, Grandland X. We put the SUV, now available at Tony LeVoi in Romford, to the test.

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,” so the saying goes. So if some warm weather is making your conservatory uninhabitable, think about replacing its roof with a flat one and adding a roof lantern instead.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

News from your area


A Romford photographer impressed the judges of a national creative photography competition with a picture of a stunning sunset.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now