Man who stabbed Antiguan carpenter through the heart in Notting Hill ‘race killing’ finally named after 50 years

 Patrick Digby Has been named as the racist cold blooded murder scum.

  • A new book claims the identity of the killer had been an ‘open secret’ since Kelso Cochrane’s death
  • ‘Weapon is still under the floorboards in the house where alleged murderer, Patrick Digby, lived with his mother’

Mr Cochrane, a black immigrant from Antigua, was stabbed to death by a white youth in Notting Hill, west London in 1959.

Digby was arrested along with another men after police focused their inquiries on a group of white men at a house party in the street where the murder took place.

Both men said they had left the party to fight with one another and Digby, a 20-year-old caterer in the Merchant Navy, was released.

 
 
Patrick Digby (pictured) has been named as the man who killed Kelso Cochrane in Notting Hill   Mr Cochrane (pictured) was stabbed in the early hours of May 17, 1959, in Notting Hill
 Patrick Digby (pictured left) has been named as the man who killed Kelso Cochrane in 1959 in a racial attack

BBC documentary maker, Mark Olden, claims in his new book, Murder In Notting Hill, claims that Digby had confessed to the killing to a group of friends.

One of Digby’s friends said: ‘He told me he’d done it and they’d never get him.’

Among the allegations that the book makes is a suggestion that the knife used to kill Mr Cochrane is still under the floorboards in the house where Digby lived at the time with his mother.

Police never recovered the weapon which, it is alleged, is under the floorboards of his former home, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The black community in Notting Hill say they have known who the killer is and that it was something of an ‘open secret’, but there are also allegations of institutional racism within the police who feared a violent backlash if a white man was sentenced to death over the murder of a black man.

A few months before there had been violent scenes in the area and relationships between different groups of people in the area were still tense.

A blue plaque marks the spot in Golborne Road where Mr Chochrane, an aspiring lawyer, was killed as he walked home from hospital. He had been injured while working as a lawyer and was close to his home.

 
Mr Cochrane's funeral became a mass demonstration against racism in Notting Hill

Mr Cochrane’s funeral became a mass demonstration against racism in Notting Hill

 
Campaigners tried to highlight the case in Whitehall amid allegations of a police cover up

Campaigners tried to highlight the case in Whitehall amid allegations of a police cover up

He was set upon close to his home in Notting Hill by white youths before being taken to hospital where he later died. More than 1,200 people attended his funeral.

Cochrane’s murder was greeted with outrage among the black community, some of whom marched down Whitehall holding protest banners.

Rab Butler, the then home secretary, made an appeal in Parliament for witnesses to come forward, and set up a public inquiry into race relations.

Despite apparent fears that the murder would stoke further tension, it is now seen as a turning point in race relations in the area and is heralded as spurring on the creation of the Notting Hill Carnival.

His family has long sought justice for his death and his brother Stanley travelled from Antigua to speak to people close to him about the death.

Stanley Cochrane called for a cold case review in 2003 but that was hampered by the destruction of his brother’s clothes in 1968, destroying vital forensic evidence.

Digby, who went on to become a painter and decorator, was not questioned during the review and died aged 69 in 2007 from a heart attack.

 

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