Billy Hughes - Pottery Cottage Murders

Discussion in 'Chesterfield Discussion' started by Sap1ent, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. Sap1ent

    Sap1ent Administrator Staff Member

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    I was talking to a guy this morning who is fixing my staircase and we got onto the subject of Billy Hughes the Chesterfield murderer.

    I'm aware of the story because of reading a book about it many years ago, and after a quick google search i'm shocked at how little information there is available on his heinous crimes.

    For anyone who doesn't know, Billy Hughes (circa 1977) was a convicted felon and being transported somewhere in Chesterfield in a Police car, he somehow managed to stab one officer in the car and injure the other whilst escaping. He then travelled out to Eastmoor (near the Highwayman pub/hotel) and took a family hostage in the cottages close by (Pottery Cottages).

    He isolated all of the family members in different rooms and murdered them one by one, apart from the Mother who he got to run errands for him. He was eventually caught and shot dead.

    I know there are far more details to this, but I thought we could flesh it out and this can serve as the internet record of these terrible crimes.
     
  2. sorastro

    sorastro Member

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    Billy Hughes..{1977} pottery cottage.

    Went out that morning with a days work on. One call was in Edensor village. Went over Eastmoor on way to Baslow and couldn't move for police vehicles and cops {some with dogs} combing the fields {but was not stopped}

    {Pottery cottage is the last cottage in the block of cottages just passed the Highwayman pub on way to Baslow}

    Spent about an hour and a half doing job and returned to town the same way........all the police had gone!!

    passed that cottage twice when he was there.........
     
  3. Henri07

    Henri07 Local

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    Went to school with the kid who lived in that house.It was alleged his family, as you'd expect bought the house on the cheap.

    Wasn't Billy Hughes connected with the women (mother) in some way? Or was it totally random?
     
  4. sandy

    sandy Member

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    I was at school at that time,i can really only remember vague details about it, but many of the other pupils came from holymoorside & were really quite frightened when they heard he was on the run in that general area.
    I think the woman was called Gill Moran, but can't remember if she was connected to Hughes or not.
     
  5. lucygen

    lucygen Local

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    I could do another summary using the said book if anyone's interested?


    @ Henri - I'm just realising late 1950's my family lived at Birdholme nr Sts Augustine's Crescent where Michael Copeland lived with his parents. In fact family on my mother's side lived at Sts. Augustines at that time. Early 1960's my family moved to Park Road - at the top end. Park road is just up the street of Boythorpe Crescent where Billy Hughes lived in 1977 - & where I have other family! :eeek: :lol2:
     
  6. Henri07

    Henri07 Local

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    Yes that would be great thanks!
     
  7. sorastro

    sorastro Member

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    Heard the same thing:- It is alleged, he and the wife knew {wink wink} each other.
     
  8. lucygen

    lucygen Local

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    No he didn't. I may have to divide the summary into 2 posts - I'm a slow typer & you only get so long before you get disconnected. If it seems disjointed & I confuse you then ask :)
     
  9. lucygen

    lucygen Local

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    William Thomas Hughes [Billy] (B.H.) was born in 1946, the eldest of 6 children. He spent his early life between Lancashire & germany as his father was a soldier. From 15yrs onward he was in trouble. At various times he'd stolen a motorbike, did some breaking & entering & assaulted a police officer; so he'd gone through the court system from probation to going to an approved school to going to Borstal & then prison. He learned how to play the Court system which helped him in his escape later.

    August 1876 he attacked a young couple in the Queen's Park Annex; badly beating the lad & raping the lass.

    At the time he had left his wife & was living with his girlfriend Mrs Teresa O'Doherty at 6 Boythorpe Crescent. Also living there were Mrs O'Doherty's sister in law Mrs Pat Millan & her husband. The house was used by the council for emergency accomodation. Billy Hughes was arrested & remanded to Leicester prison.

    B.H. knew the court system & messed about with court proceedings to delay the trial 9 times. Each time he travelled to Chesterfield then back again so got a look at the route.

    12 January 1977 8.20 am was another court date in Chesterfield. The authorities of Leics. prison didn't see B.H. as a risk so he was allowed to work in the kitchens - where he'd stolen a meat boning knife. As he was considered a category B prisoner he wasn't frisked well before his journey to Court & a prison vehicle wasn't used; a taxi was used driven by a David Reynolds. There were 2 warders who accompanied B.H. Donald Sprintall & Ken Simmonds. Simmonds was manacled to B.H. in the back of the taxi; Sprintall sat beside the driver.

    The taxi reached Junction 29 at Heath & turned onto the slip road to Chesterfield when B.H. struck. He hit Sprintall at the back of the neck with the knife & Simmonds on the chin & thumb. They went through Chesterfield, Matlock Rd., & passed Slatepit Dale. When the incline to Stonedge approached B.H. made the others get out & robbed them of their money & left them on the side of the road. A motorist later picked them up & took them to hospital. They recovered.

    Edit: next part
    B.H. crashed the car into a wall in the village of Beeley. There was bad weather - snow & blizzards so he needed shelter. He made his way to Baslow Rd., Eastmoor, Pottery Cottage. Inside was 72yrs old Arthur Minton & his wife 70yrs old Amy Minton. Later came their married daughter Mrs Gillian Moran to the cottage; then came Mrs Moran's adopted daughter 10yr old Sarah & last to arrive her husband Richard Moran. B.H. tied them up in different rooms.

    During this time the police had tried to find them but the weather hindered them & then they got false info. that B.H. had gone to Lancs.

    B.H. murdered Arthur Minton & Sarah Moran but didn't let on to the others.

    Thursday 13 January: 2 council workers arrived to clean out the septic tank. Mrs Moran spoke to them & they saw nothing wrong. Phone calls were made to Sarah's school & Mr Moran's works explaining they couldn't attend because of illness. B.H. allowed Mrs Moran to go alone to Chesterfield for newspapers & cigarettes. At teatime B.H. tried to go to Chesterfield taking Mr & Mrs Moran with him but the weather stopped them. Then he tried to go to Sutton in Ashfield to see a friend - taking Mrs Moran with him - they only travelled 32 miles before returning.

    11.30 Friday morning B.H. allowed Mr & Mrs Moran to go to Chesterfield by themselves where they visited shops & the petrol station. 5pm B.H. took Mr Moran to his place of work, Bretts Plastics, in Staveley where he was a sales director. Mr Moran got £200 from the safe for B.H. B.H. wasn't happy so they went back in a got another £100.

    Edit next part
    8pm that night B.H. had trouble with the car & sent Mrs Moran next door for help. Mrs Moran finally told someone she needed help. She told her next door neighbour, Leonard Newman, about B.H. & the trouble. Mr Newman went to Charles Smart's poultry farm to inform the police. B.H. got impatient & took Mrs Moran with him to the nearby farm to ask for a tow to the main road. He then left Mrs Moran in the car whilst he went back to the house to 'look for maps'. He then murdered Mr Moran & Mrs Minton.

    The police arrived & there was a police chase northwest through New Mills & Whaley Bridge & B.H. was cornered by police vehicles when he crashed into a wall in the Cheshire village of Rainow. He threatened Mrs Moran with an axe. Chief Inspector Peter Howse was trying to negotiate with B.H. & had given him shoes & cigarettes & was talking to him through the passenger's window of the car. When a light went on in a house B.H. flew into a fury & said "your time is up!". The inspector hurled himself through the window towards B.H. & tried to protect Mrs Moran. Although he got hurt he later recovered. When this happened police marksmen shot at B.H. The 1st shot hit him in the head but it didn't stop him. The 2nd & 3rd hit him but he carried on. The 4th shot stopped him.

    Plans to bury B.H. in Boythorpe Cemetery upset local people & the grave that was dug was filled in by hand to stop the funeral. Also locals had chained the gates & padlocked them to stop him being buried there. B.H. was cremated at Brimington even though there were people with placards there protesting against it happening. The ashes were given to his wife. 4 days earlier the victims of B.H. had been cremated at Brimington.

    'More Fould Deeds & Suspicious Deaths in & Around Chesterfield' by Geoffrey Sadler.
    ISBN 1-903425-68-9
     
  10. scott7saunders

    scott7saunders New Member

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    Hi,

    Is there anyone here who can help me with some information on the Pottery Cottage Murders ? basically I am trying to find out some details on how the Mintons (possibly Amy) is connected to me as I believe that she was by nans sister. Only recently found this out from my poorly Nan who has started to talk more about her family and younder years. She said that Billy Hughes killed some of her family in the Pottery Cottage Murders.

    My nans maiden name was Bates and her mothers maiden name was Audbrey.

    Is there anyone who can offer me some help?

    Cheers
     
  11. sandy

    sandy Member

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    Didn't someone else with some sort of personal/family connection post something similar on here ? :?:

    Just found it - viewtopic.php?f=2&t=4327
     
  12. baby-angel

    baby-angel New Member

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    Hi there. iv heard stories about billy hughes from my family as in 1977 my mum, brother and sister came out of the army as my mums husband was on petrol in army at the time and the army placed my family in billys old house at boythorp. well when billy got free the police kept a close eye to make sure my family were safe and once he got shot they thought they were ok but iv been told that there was a deep male voice coming from my brothers room. im guessing billy found his house and wanted it back. Well more stuff went on in the house but people came in and helped moved my family out of that house. just wanted to share my story ( families story as i wasnt born) so no matter what happend he did get back home.
    oh and apparently billy was having an affair withe the wife (mother) at pottery cottage as he did some decirating for her :-/
     
  13. Sap1ent

    Sap1ent Administrator Staff Member

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    I think the 'affair with the wife' scenario was discounted and is just rumour.
     
  14. Lmj

    Lmj New Member

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    Billy Hughes also took Jill Moran to huthwaite, by force as he had arranged to meet someone, I'm presuming to help him to escape, but he went to the wrong place. He entered our home during the night, my parents ran a cafe and guest house, and due to the fact some of lodgers worked at the local colliery ours doors were always unlocked, and we were not disturbed by him walking around in the early hours and were totally unaware of this evil man until CID came to our house to arrest my father, but after many hours of questioning they realised that billy Hughes had gone to the wrong cafe
    He did take a few items with him from our home, which we believe are now in Scotland Yard museum, and they are most welcome to these items
    My mum almost had a breakdown from the shock of this and as an adult now myself i understand the enormity of this terrible crime and how lucky my family are to be alive today, unlike Jill Moran, I wish her all the best in life and commend her bravery
     
  15. Jack Watts

    Jack Watts New Member

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    Hi, i remember it,bitterly cold early January.I didnt know him,i was only aged Sixteen.But i remember a news article about him afterwards,he had lived in Blackpool for a while and was in some trouble with the police involved,he killed a police german shepherd dog.I know a man who played a game of darts with Hughes in the Red Lion on Vicar Lane.He told me there was no trouble with him,but that he was definitely a handfull.The story of the wife i believe has a ring of truth to it.He had done some decorating at the house previously.When he abandoned the taxi he made his way across Beeley Moor,in terrible winter weather,to the house.Why would he pick that house?that distance across the moor? The police had set up a mobile office at the Highwayman pub,just up from the house.The police went to all the houses as routine,i think,but not certain,they spoke to Mrs Moran at the back door,but she gave no indication to them that Hughes was in the house. He kept the hostages in seperate rooms,and got Mrs Moran to make meals for all of them in the pretence that they were all alive.When police did find the bodies,they informed the farmer from the farm close by.The farmer immediately went to get his shotgun,saying that he was going to shoot Hughes.The police stopped him and no action was taken against the man.When the authorities tried to bury Hughes at Boythorpe Cemetary,local women stopped the burial.This made the front pages of the daily papers,i can still picture the photograph on the front page of The Sun,a woman covered in mud from the grave,shouting that they were not burying Hughes there.Mrs Moran,was never called to give evidence at the inquests of her family.I understand that she went on to form a relationship with a friend of Hughes.A few years afterwards there were plans to make a film about these terrible crimes,commited by a mad man.The film didnt get made though. The marksman that killed Hughes i was told,went on to work as a security guard at Hope cement works.
     
  16. Ricardo

    Ricardo New Member

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    William Hughes and his siblings.
    HUGHES William Thomas Preston South West born Preston mother COVENTRY PSW/23B/97
    Evil human being. Shot dead by police for murder

    HUGHES Alan Edward Preston South West born Preston mother COVENTRY PSW/31B/66
    (I still have scars on my face where I was smashed in the face with a glass by Alan Edward Hughes. Evil man.)
    Nasty. Lives in Chorley Lancashire. Various crimes assault and burglary. Not to be trusted
    HUGHES David Ian Preston South West born Preston mother COVENTRY PSW/34B/9
    Committed suicide
    HUGHES Malcolm George Preston North East born Preston mother COVENTRY PNE/2C/21
    Committed suicide
    HUGHES Brian Charles Fulwood born Preston mother COVENTRY FUL/5A/57
    Committed suicide
     

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