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Last Updated: Sunday, 13 April, 2003, 14:45 GMT 15:45 UK
Memorial for murdered officers
Pc George Mussell and Sergeant Andrew Barton
Pc George Mussell and Sergeant Andrew Barton died in 1913
A special ceremony has taken place to remember two police officers who were shot dead 90 years ago.

Police constable George Mussell and Sergeant Andy Barton were both killed on duty in 1913 as they tried to settle an argument in a pub in Northumberland.

The killings shocked the region and eventually led to the hanging of the murderer.

The incident happened at the Sun Inn pub in Bedlington, when licensee John Vickers Amos shot Mr Mussell, 32, twice after he came to investigate a disturbance.

Mr Barton was also shot twice when he heard the first gunshots and entered the pub to help.

Amos was convicted of the two murders and hanged.

The fallen officers were buried in Bedlington Cemetery and a memorial erected.

Disturbance escalated

A service of dedication took place in the town on Sunday at the memorial, which has been restored by the North Eastern Police History Society.

The service was attended by local dignitaries including Northumbria Police chief constable Crispian Strachan, as well as relatives of the two men.

Amos was a well-known figure but also a poor book-keeper and on 6 April 1913, the owner of the pub noticed 45 was missing from the accounts.

Nine days later, on 15 April, a heated argument over the money led to Mr Mussell being sent to resolve the matter.

The disturbance escalated and Amos produced a shotgun and shot Mr Mussell.

Mr Barton, who knew Amos well, rushed to the scene and tried to reason with the gunman but was then shot himself.

The wife of the pub's new manager, was also shot dead by Amos.

Amos pleaded temporary insanity at his trial but was sentenced to death and hanged at Newcastle Gaol on 22 July 1913.



Station dedicated to dead officers
21 Feb 03  |  England
Man's police killing remembered
22 Sep 01  |  UK News

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