Billy Hughes - Pottery Cottage Murders

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Billy Hughes - Pottery Cottage Murders

Postby Sap1ent » Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:51

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.

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Re: Billy Hughes - Pottery Cottage Murders

Postby sorastro » Wed Feb 01, 2012 17:55

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.........
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Re: Billy Hughes - Pottery Cottage Murders

Postby Henri07 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 21:26

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?
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Re: Billy Hughes - Pottery Cottage Murders

Postby sandy » Wed Feb 01, 2012 23:56

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.
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Re: Billy Hughes - Pottery Cottage Murders

Postby lucygen » Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:20

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:

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Re: Billy Hughes - Pottery Cottage Murders

Postby Henri07 » Sat Feb 04, 2012 14:36

lucygen wrote: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:



Yes that would be great thanks!
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Re: Billy Hughes - Pottery Cottage Murders

Postby sorastro » Sun Feb 05, 2012 19:28

Henri07 wrote: Wasn't Billy Hughes connected with the women (mother) in some way? Or was it totally random?



Heard the same thing:- It is alleged, he and the wife knew {wink wink} each other.
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Re: Billy Hughes - Pottery Cottage Murders

Postby lucygen » Sun Feb 05, 2012 21:04

sorastro wrote:
Henri07 wrote: Wasn't Billy Hughes connected with the women (mother) in some way? Or was it totally random?

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


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 :)

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Re: Billy Hughes - Pottery Cottage Murders

Postby lucygen » Sun Feb 05, 2012 21:28

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

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Re: Billy Hughes - Pottery Cottage Murders

Postby scott7saunders » Sun Jul 15, 2012 06:15

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?

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