SHE mercilessly taunted her spurned lover.

"Ain't it grand," Violent Halewood joyfully sang in front of friends and regulars at a Hampshire pub.

Soon it wasn't.

She lay sprawled on the floor, dying. Blood gushed from her slashed throat.

Her lover, Joe Huggett, was far from contrite, readily confessing: "I done it. I did it with a razor. I am not sorry I done it."

He had finally snapped.

The two had been living together for the best part of two years when he was ashore.

He had spent 24 years of his working life at sea, initially with the Royal Navy and latterly as a merchant seaman on the Southampton-based Atlantic liners.

He was the epitome of a hard working man and of mild temper.

She was a notorious prostitute, nicknamed "Queenie", who touted for business on the streets of her native Portsmouth, cheerfully separated from her husband.

Fidelity was a word she would never have found in a dictionary, let alone understood.

When Huggett was away, she embarked on an affair with another sailor. Characteristically the mild mannered Huggett forgave her on learning of the liaison.

But their relationship was doomed.

That fateful day, June 7, 1932, Huggett saw carter James Mellor in Commercial Road, Portsmouth, and asked if he had seen Queenie as she had been out all the previous night, apparently in the company of another sailor.

"She has done the dirty on me," he snarled. "I shall do the dirty on her and if I see her tonight, I will do her in."

Mellor tried appeasing him: "Don't be so silly."

But Huggett was adamant in his intent – and so it proved.

Less than an hour later, he found Halewood who had been rejoicing in song in the Bedford Hotel where she was chatting to a woman friend. Seeing Huggett, she ordered drinks for the three of them.

Huggett – who had been drinking but was not drunk – begged her to come home with him but she refused: "Leave me alone, Joe. Go away. I have finished with you."

He initially went to leave but then turned, grabbed her with both hands around the neck from behind and slit her throat with his razor.

The seaman made no attempt to flee but sat on a chair waiting for the emergency services to arrive. The victim was rushed to hospital but died on the way from loss of blood.

Pc Norman Roscoe arrested Huggett who confessed: "I done it. I did it with a razor. I am not sorry I done it."

At the police station, he made a voluntary written statement.

It read: "I went along to the Bedford public house and saw her there. We had an argument and I took out the razor and done it. I made up my mind to to do it tonight. I happened to have the razor in my pocket and I did it."

Huggett was charged with murder and appeared before Mr Justice Avory at Hampshire Assizes on July 6.

He told jurors how he had taken Halewood "off the streets" and implored her to reform. She promised she would if she could find someone to look after her. He happily agreed and they lived together whenever he was ashore.

Twice she had gone off with other men but on both occasions he had forgiven her. Then he discovered she had been consorting with a sailor and wanted nothing more to do with him.

"I went drinking double whiskies that evening," the statement continued. "I had about 10 and two pints of bitter that evening, and the last I recall was being in the Bedford Hotel just before nine. and asking if she was going to have a last drink with me before I went home.

"I remember nothing of what happened afterwards, nothing of the razor, nor of going to the police station, nor making a statement there. In fact, I remember nothing until I woke up at the police station at six o'clock the following morning."

When cross-examined by F J Tucker, prosecuting, Huggett claimed his remark of not being sorry had been misinterpreted.

"I meant she was not suffering," stressing that he had no intention of hurting her. "I was very fond of her."

Police surgeon Harry Fisk said he had examined Huggett that same evening and was certain he was capable of making and understanding the statement he had made. However he did concede that at the time of the killing, it was possible he did not know what he was doing.

"It is possible for a man to be drunk and yet not show it to casual observation. I have known sailors to be drunk when they had gone ashore and yet be able to pull themselves together and pass the naval tests aboard ships."

In his closing speech, J Scott Henderson, defending, urged the jury to accept Huggett was so drunk that he was of unsound mind, did not know what he was doing and did not know what he was doing was wrong or that he was so much under the influence of drink that he was unable to form a sane intention.

But he was interrupted by the judge: "When I sum up this case I shall tell the jury there is not the least evidence to support a verdict of insanity in the legal sense."

The judge duly scouted the idea there was any ground for them finding the prisoner at the time of the commission of the offence was not found mind.

He also reminded them of Huggett's statement made an hour after the killing that demonstrated he was well aware of what was happening, that he quite cognisant of what he had done and the significance of it.

Jurors retired for just 18 minutes before delivering a guilty verdict.

When asked in the customary fashion to say why sentence of death should not be passed, Huggett replied: "No, only that I loved her, and I still love her, and if it is true we shall meet on the other side, I am very glad to go."

The judge then passed sentence of death and he was removed to the condemned cell.

An appeal was launched, endorsed by his solicitor A G Granville who wrote a letter to the Home Secretary Viscount Herbert Samuel. It was successful and his sentence was reduced to life imprisonment.