Army deserter Donald George Thomas is a lucky man. Police killers are always caught; police killers never escape the gallows. Police and the courts see to that. But Thomas, who killed Constable Nat Edgar early this year, 1948 timed his conviction to coincide with the temporary suspension of capital punishment this spring, while Parliament debated its abolition. Thomas has been convicted, but lives to tell the tale. PC Edgar spotted Thomas loitering outside 112 Wades Hill, Southgate in London, England, on February 13. There had been several burglaries in the area, so he questioned the 23-year-old and noted his name and address before arresting him. Whereupon Thomas pulled a Luger pistol and shot him. Thomas was not to be found at the Enfield address he had given Edgar, but police traced him to Stockwell in south London, where he and his mistress, Mrs Winkless, were lodging with a Mrs Smeed. As officers burst into his room, he reached under the pillow for his gun, but was overpowered before he could reach it. The habitual criminal remarked coolly: “You ‘were lucky. I might as well be hung for as sheep as a lamb.” In the event it is Thomas who has proved lucky. Concealed in his room were 17lbs of ammunition, a rubber cosh, and a book entitled “Shooting to Live with the one handgun” It is to be hoped that this lethal young thug is not given any future opportunity to practice its evil and sinister agenda.
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