Derby

Alice Wheeldon family's plea over 1917 prime minister plot

  • 6 May 2014
  • From the section Derby
L-R Jailer, Hetty Wheeldon, Winnie Mason, Alice Wheeldon
Hetty Wheeldon, Winnie Mason and Alice Wheeldon became headline news

An appeal to clear the name of a Derby suffragette jailed for plotting to kill a British prime minister is moving forward.

Shopkeeper Alice Wheeldon was found guilty of a poison plot against David Lloyd George in 1917.

But a campaign to clear her name, which saw her former home get a commemorative plaque, has continued.

Now, her great granddaughter Chloe Mason has said a submission to the Court of Appeal is being prepared.

Known for their anti-war views, Mrs Wheeldon, daughters Nellie, Hetty and Winnie and son William were the focus of government attention.

'Credibility and integrity'

On 31 January 1917, they were arrested and accused of plotting to kill Lloyd George with poison darts.

Mrs Wheeldon, Winnie and son-in-law Alfred Mason were convicted. Mrs Wheeldon served only nine months of a 10-year sentence but died soon after release.

Supporters have insisted the family were set up by an MI5 agent who was known for dishonesty.

Ms Mason, granddaughter of Mrs Wheeldon, said: "It is an ugly burden to carry that the family were not only convicted and went to prison but suffered terrible persecution subsequently for something we think they did not do.

"We need a criminal justice system that is fair and does things properly, so it is about the credibility and integrity of the system itself."

She has now met a legal team to begin work on a submission to the Criminal Cases Review Commission, which will decide whether the case can go before the Court of Appeal.

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