Midnight in Glasgow, 28th of July 1950: a stolen car drives backwards and forwards, backwards and forwards over a prone, broken body. A mother of two is brutally murdered. Away from her body, on the edge of the pavement, two faux-leather shoes sit innocuously, the first clue for police that this is not just a simple traffic accident.
A family man; a religious man, devout member of the mysterious Plymouth Brethren: more than that, P.C. James Robertson was a man of the law. How could he be connected to a case like that?
The involvement of a respectable bobby in an unmarried mother’s murder made for one of the most scandalous High Court trials in Glasgow’s history, meticulously examined here by Allan Nichol, an expert Advocate in the Scottish criminal justice system. The brutal murder and unlikely suspect are only the first striking details of this case, however. Robertson’s performance in the witness box baffled his legal advisers and continues to mystify students of the case, where he seemed to show a total disregard for his eventual fate at the gallows.
Allan Nicol’s masterful and incisive book paints an intriguing picture of this contradictory man and tries to understand how the blind faith of a devout can co-exist with the cold-blooded violence of a murderer.
‘Allan Nicol is not only an excellent storyteller, he takes you right into the world in which events occur.’
– Donald Findlay.
Author: Allan Nicol