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HORRIBLE HISTORY: THE COCK ROBIN BRIDGE MURDER, 1963
As we continue to look back at the archives of Salford's gruesome past, we look back over 50 years to an incident that would live in infamy with the people of Salford for many years.

History With Flynn

As we continue to look back at the archives of Salford's gruesome past, we look back over 50 years to an incident that would live in infamy with the people of Salford for many years.

On the morning of Wednesday 27 March, 1963, local people in Duchy were horrified to hear of the brutal murder of a 25-year-old woman on the steps of Cock Robin Bridge. 

A spurned suitor would turn savage killer. Read on. 

Dalip Singh Kumar, 24, came from India to Salford in January 1962 and after studying Law was employed as a costing clerk at R.A. Brands paper mills in Brindleheath, Salford. 

At work he met and fell in love with Kathleen Martha Parkinson, 26, who was employed in a separate office as Divisional Sales Manager. 

Kathleen, who lived at Westwood Drive, Pendlebury, was described as being tall, fair haired and one of the most popular members of staff at Brands. 

Dalip Kumar who was described as being a dapper, bespectacled, dark skinned young man who became besotted with Kathleen after they had a few dates including a visit to the Opera House in Manchester. 

However Kathleen wanted to cool their relationship and told several workmates that their friendship was over. 

Kumar had written to his mother in India stating that he wished to marry Kathleen and she said she would send him 1,000 towards the marriage. 

When he heard that Kathleen didn't want to associate with him anymore, he became obsessed with her, and events would take a much darker turn. 

On the morning of Wednesday 27 March 1963, at 9am Kumar was observed by several people waiting at the foot of Cock Robin Bridge on Laundry Street, a stones throw away from Brands which was on the other side of the bridge. 

Charles Wilson, a driver employed by the wholesale grocery merchants Snowden and Bridges of Villiers Street, was loading his vehicle in the loading bay when he heard loud screams and was then stunned to see a woman stagger into the yard covered in blood. 

She said: "I've been hit" and grabbed hold of him before collapsing into a state of unconsciousness. 

An ambulance was called and Kathleen was rushed to Salford Royal Hospital on Chapel Street where she was found to be dead caused by six stab wounds to the neck and head. 

He then looked down the street and noticed a man lying down at the foot of the bridge covered in blood, this was Kumar. 

Sgt Stanley Walker of Salford Constabulary arrived on the scene and saw Kumar lying on the ground with a knife by his side. The officer asked if he had inflicted the injuries on himself and Kumar nodded his head in agreement. 

When asked if he had stabbed Kathleen he also nodded in agreement. 

Kumar was taken to Salford Royal Hospital and an emergency operation was carried out on him to a lacerated left lung. 

He was charged with the murder of Kathleen Martha Parkinson and remanded in custody until 18 April when he appeared at Salford Magistrates Court in front of Stipendary Leslie Walsh. 

In court he said that he felt that she had humilated him in front of workmates and laughed at him behind his back. 

He then decided to confront her and ask why she had treated him in this manner. 

They met on Cock Robin Bridge and he claimed that she laughed at him once again, he also stated that he intended to kill himself in front of her with the knife that he was carrying. 

Instead he launched a frenzied attack on her inflicting fatal stab wounds before turning the knife on himself. 

Interestingly enough when the police searched Kumar's briefcase they found a photgraph of Kathleen and across the back scribbled in pencil were the words: "What do you expect out of an uncivilised person from an uncivilised country?" 

Scrawled across her face was the word "civilised". 

In court he expressed remorse for what he had done and said that he wished that the doctors hadn't saved his life as he wanted to die. 

He appeared at Manchester Crown Court that summer charged with the murder of Kathleen Parkinson. 

After some deliberation the jury found him guilty of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and he was given a life sentence. 

The Cock Robin Bridge is still standing and locals still talk about the dreadful events of that day in March 1963.

This article first appeared on SalfordOnline on the 4th April 2014 and is reproduced here courtesy of its author Tony Flynn


KARL

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