Hertfordshire Mercury, 8th December 1906
As a result of the application to the Home Secretary by Mr R.M. Finley, of Watford, the solicitor who had charge of his defence, David Hooker, who was sentenced to death at the recent Hertford Assizes for the murder of his wife, has been reprieved.
The execution had been fixed for next Wednesday, December 12th, but on Tuesday evening last Mr Finley received the following letter from the Home Office:- ” With reference to your letters of the 21st., 23rd., and 28th ult., on behalf of David Hooker, who is lying under sentence of death in St Albans Prison, I am directed to aquaint you that the Secretary of State has felt warranted under all the circumstances in advising his Majesty to respite the capital sentence with a view to its commutation to penal servitude for life. (Signed) C. E. Troup.”
At the same time the High Sheriff was communicated with, and the Prison Authorities also received notification of the reprieve.
The plea which the prisoner’s solicitor put before the Home Secretary was that the evidence upon which he was convicted was not strong enough to warrant a verdict of guilty; and after consultation with Mr Justice Lawrence who tried the case, the Home Secretary has apparently accepted that view of the case.