Mrs. Barney & Lover.
Before the Hon. Mr. Justice Humphreys and a jury of ten men & two women in Old Bailey appeared Mrs. Elvira Dolores Barney, accused of murdering her lover Thomas William Scott Stephen after a cocktail party in her West End flat. One dawn last month a physician, hastily summoned, found Mrs. Barney, whose husband is a U. S. radio crooner, anxiously kissing Stephen’s cooling corpse. A revolver lay nearby. While Mrs. Barney awaited trial her father. Sir John Mullens, was reported to be liquidating the Mullens gems to raise the huge fee of her defender, lean Sir Patrick Hastings, the Clarence Darrow of Great Britain. Last week Sir Patrick was in fine fettle. After witnesses had testified to Mrs. Barney’s love for Stephen, and she had explained that the revolver went off while he was trying to keep her from shooting herself, Sir Patrick cried, “Her life was tragic, tied to an American brute whom she could not divorce! . . . Even one of us some day may have a daughter for whom we may have to make excuses. … It is conclusive evidence of her innocence that her fingerprints were not found on the revolver. There is no evidence here upon which you could be asked to hang a cat.”
“The finest defense speech I have ever heard,” beamed Justice Humphreys. “There is not the slightest doubt that there was a struggle for this revolver.” With the judge’s charge in mind Old Bailey’s ten men & two women promptly found Mrs. Barney not guilty, looked concerned when she and her mother simultaneously fainted from relief.