23 OCTOBER 1971, Page 22

A case for hanging

Sir: It was most heartening to observe the spontaneous reaction of the crowd which assembled to witness Sewell's entry into the police station at Blackpool. In the circumstances, one can sympathise with the recent moves to reinstate capital punishment. What a pity it will not be possible to arrange a temporary recall so that this unconvicted and uncondemned murderer could be publicly hanged, preferably in Blackpool, for the benefit of the good citizens who live there. I can't help reflecting that a less well disciplined police force might easily have permitted a lynching. That great country, America, manages these things so much better than we do. Shades of Oswald.

I suppose it is too much to hope that those admirable people who were instrumental in helping the police to effect the capture of Sewell will be rewarded by at least a mention in the next Honours List, and not just fobbed off with a paltry monetary gain.

Bill Stone