Her Unfinished Journey

The Murder of Mrs Janet Mary Maddocks (1985) 


The assistance of Detective Superintendent Anthony M. Buckmaster, Northampton Police, in compiling this article is gratefully acknowledged.

On Wednesday, 20th March 1985, Mrs Janet Mary Maddocks, aged 35, a part-time Social Worker employed with the Birmingham Social Services travelled from Birmingham New Street station to London to meet her husband so that they could keep an appointment with a Harley Street specialist in connection with her back Injuries sustained In a car accident in December 1980, in which both she and her husband were involved.

She was married to Peter Jonathan Maddocks, also a Social Worker, in 1978, but after five years of marriage, parted from her husband by mutual agreement following long periods of separation due to their different work locations. She now lived in her own house in the Kings Heath district of Birmingham and although separated from her husband had the occasional male escort but still maintained some affection for and contact with her husband.

Mrs Maddocks who was 5’2″ tall and of slim build was wearing a burgundy waterproof fashion coat with tartan lining, a scarf, tweed skirt, cream silk blouse, maroon coloured tights, maroon coloured ankle boots, a pink popper necklace, butterfly earrings, a ladles watch and carrying a tan coloured leather handbag. She was also wearing her wedding ring and another ring from her grandmother which she had worn for sentimental reasons since she was a girl.

Peter Maddocks met his wife about 10.15 that morning at Regent’s Park Tube Station in London and they went to keep the 11.30 a.m. appointment with the specialist. Following the consultation they decided to spend the day together and visited a restaurant and public house before going shopping.

Later they went to a West End cinema and after seeing the film ’A Passage to India’, took a taxi to Euston station where Mrs Maddocks collected some presents for her husband’s birthday which she had deposited there when she arrived that morning.

As she had some time to spare, she went with her husband by taxi to Liverpool Street station where Mr Maddocks caught the 8.35 p.m. train to go to his home at Kings Lynn and Mrs Maddocks waited on the platform to see him off. Their parting was quite a friendly one as both had appeared to have enjoyed their day together.

She told her husband that she intended getting the next available train from Euston to Birmingham New Street and it was discussed that she used a taxi to go from Liverpool Street to Euston. During the discussion, Mrs Maddocks checked her money and found that she had at least £15 In her handbag.

Allowing for the journey time between the two stations at that time of the evening, the first available train would have been the 8-car centre corridor stock, 9.02 p.m. slow train from Euston to Birmingham New Street which would be calling at intermediate stations along the route. Probably without realising it, she boarded this train although there was a much faster train for Birmingham a few minutes later.

About 11.10 p.m. that night, Mr Dennis Overton boarded the second carriage from the front of the 9.02 p.m. train at Coventry. He immediately noticed a large amount of blood lying on the floor and seats, so much so that It had run down the centre aisle of the carriage in a forward direction for about twelve feet.

Twenty minutes later, Mr Paul Splndler boarded the same carriage at Hampton-in-Arden station. He and Mr Overton discussed the scene and came to the conclusion that someone had been severely injured or perhaps even murdered. When the train reached Birmingham International station, the two men called William Wilson, a British Rail Chargeman, and showed him the Interior of the carriage. Mr Wilson undertook to advise the British Transport Police to meet the train on its arrival at Birmingham New Street.

When the police met the train and saw the condition inside the coach Instructions were immediately given for it to be taken out of service as it was evident that a serious incident had occurred somewhere—but where? Driver Edward Hartwell and Guard Alan Gilbert who had worked the train were seen but could give no helpful answers to the police questions.

Police Constable Alan Perkins of the British Transport Police was detailed to travel on the 00.15 a.m. train from Birmingham to London to search the line in order to find any evidence which might have given some explanation for the conditions inside the second coach of the 9.02 p.m. train.

Approximately three miles north of Northampton Castle station and near a road bridge giving access to Church Brampton village, P.C. Perkins found the body of a woman lying between the rails of the south bound track. Her face and neck were covered in blood and she showed no sign of life. Her clothing appeared normal except that her ‘French’ knickers and tights were around her ankles. This left the officer in no doubt that something terrible had happened to the woman.

P.C. Perkins was soon joined by Woman Police Constable Jennifer Tooze of the British Transport Police. Between them they preserved the scene of discovery and senior officers of the British Transport Police and the Northampton Police were informed.

The scene was quickly visited by Detective Superintendent Anthony M. Buckmaster and his deputy, Detective Chief Inspector David J. Jarratt of the Northampton Police and Detective Chief Inspector Roy Hulin of the British Transport Police. It was immediately agreed that the circumstances warranted a combined investigation into this death by officers of both Forces with Detective Superintendent Buckmaster in overall command.

Dr Dela Haye Davies, the Senior Police Surgeon, examined the body at the scene and confirmed death. He quickly formed the opinion that the woman had died from a stab wound to the throat and was dead before being thrown onto the railway line. Later that morning, Dr Peter S. Andrews, a Home Office Pathologist, visited the scene and viewed the body in situ before it was taken to Kettering General Hospital.

In the general vicinity of where the body was found, a lady’s handbag with blood stains inside it, a blood-stained woollen glove, a pen and a red bead were recovered. An examination of the handbag showed there was no money in it and the blood stains could well be those of the attacker and not those of the deceased. The two rings were also missing from the body.

Not only was the scene where the body was found searched for forensic evidence but the whole of the railway line from Milton Keynes to Watford Tunnel, a distance of 30 miles, was searched by the police for any further evidence in connection with this terrible death. Various items were recovered and identified later as some of Mrs Maddocks’s personal effects. These had been thrown out of the carriage at intervals.

At this time the dead woman’s identity was uncertain and the only clue came from a photograph found In the handbag which was one of the woman taken some years earlier. This photograph was soon on display in the press and on television also at all main stations along the line from London to Birmingham. It was not long before information was forthcoming that the dead woman could be Mrs Janet Mary Maddocks.

At the Kettering General Hospital the body was formally identified by Mr Peter Maddocks and Mr Rex Goddard as that of Mrs Janet Mary Maddocks, the wife of the former and daughter of the latter.

A postmortem examination carried out by Dr Andrews revealed that the deceased had sustained a stab wound to the left side of her neck which traversed the internal jugular vein and on through to the third cervical vertebrae to a depth of three inches. The penetration had traversed the spinal cord and reached the spinal canal resulting in extensive haemorrhaging. This would account for her scarf having one cut in it through several thicknesses and being drenched in blood.

A further stab wound was found to the left of the vulva and ran In two tracks. One in line with the central body axis to a depth of at least four inches and the other track ran laterally Into the upper part of the thigh for a distance of at least two and a half inches. Additionally, a series of six lacerated and incised superficial wounds, each under half an inch, were apparent on the left side of the vulva.

Two deeper lacerated and contused wounds, approximately half an Inch deep, were also evident to the right side of the vulva. The cause of death was haemorrhage and shock combined with penetrating wounds to the neck and groin.

During the postmortem examination, extensive bruising, abrasions and cuts were apparent to the backs of both hands of the deceased. These were considered as wounds sustained when she was attempting to defend herself although she would have become paralysed just before dying.

A detailed examination of the carriage was carried out by Scenes of Crime Officers from the British Transport Police, Northampton Police and West Midlands Police. Mr Michael Harris, Miss Elaine King and Mr Christopher Foweather of the Huntingdon Home Office Forensic Science Laboratory also attended.

During the course of their examinations they found palmar impressions on the offside carriage door supports, blood stains on the door window and in the blood on the floor of the carriage a size eight boot marks with a sole design which suggested that it was a baseball boot made either in Hong Kong or Korea, and the left foot imprint of the two sets of marks, was dominant, indicating that the killer was a person who had a bad limp.

There was no doubt that a murder had taken place on the train and that the body had been thrown from it as it travelled towards Birmingham.

A murder on a train always attracts great publicity and this case was no exception. The coverage given by the news media and posters displayed at stations brought forth the information from witnesses that the police were seeking. A reconstruction exercise using a Northampton housewife dressed in identical clothing to that of the deceased took place on the 9.02 p.m. train from Euston on Wednesday, 27th March 1985. Extensive enquiries were made to trace members of the public or British Rail staff who had travelled on this train the previous Wednesday.

A British Rail employee, Mr Anthony Denton, travelled on this train from Euston on the night of the murder and occupied a seat in the second carriage. He was able to describe a woman who was travelling alone in the same carriage and related the conversation he had with her about the train going to Birmingham because of the long time it was taking on the journey. Perhaps she had not even then, realised that she had got on a slow train at Euston which would be calling at intermediate stations. Mr Denton left the train at Bletchley, at which time the woman was still in her seat.

Another witness, Mr Paul Jackson, saw the train arrive at Bletchley at 9.53 p.m. and saw a man and woman seated in the second carriage. The woman was sitting and looking out of the window. If the presumption that she was Mrs Maddocks is correct, this would be the last time a witness was to see her alive.

From the police enquiries made of passengers and British Rail staff at stations along the route, many suspicious characters were reported. All the Information was monitored and it became apparent that one person In particular was becoming of significant interest to the police.

He was a person who was first sighted at Milton Keynes station and who got into the carriage where Mrs Maddocks had travelled. This same man was seen to act suspiciously when the train arrived at Northampton and was later seen by witnesses after he got off at Rugby.

Witnesses generally described this man as a young person, about 5’6″ tall, medium build, mousey coloured hair with blonde streaks, which reached just below collar length, giving the appearance of a woman’s hair. His face was described by some as ’potted’ as if suffering from acne. He was wearing a jacket, old fashioned flared trousers and white baseball style boots. In addition he was carrying a radio/cassette player and had a walking stick as he walked with a noticeable limp.

He first came to notice at Milton Keynes station just after 9.15 p.m. when he was seen to go to the Left Luggage lockers and remove the radlo/cassette player from one of the lockers. Other witnesses saw him sitting on a seat at the station as if waiting for a train.

Mr Allan Unger saw this man walking along Platform 3 about 9.50 p.m. and there was no-one else on the platform. About ten o’clock the 9.02 p.m. train arrived at Platform 3 and Mr Unger saw a female seated in the second carriage of the train and his description of her was consistent with that of Mrs Maddocks. He then saw the man pull himself up into the second carriage and because of the way he was doing so—by much use of his arms—Mr Unger realised that the man had a problem with one of his legs. This man said to Mr Unger, ‘Is this train going to Rugby?’

About 10.20 p.m. when the train arrived at Northampton station, two postal workers were on the platform ready to load mails into the train. To do so, they drew up their tractor and trailers alongside the second carriage as they would be loading the mail traffic into the third vehicle at the end nearest to the second carriage.

They noticed two people in the second carriage, one was a woman sitting in an offside seat by a window. She did not move her position at all and appeared to be leaning her head against the window. The other person was a man who opened the rear nearside door of the carriage and stepped off the train on to the platform. Whilst he was standing on the platform he still held on to the Inside of the door and at first the two postal workers thought It was a woman but realised later it was a man and as he was acting strangely they paid more attention to him.

He kept staring at the workers with a glazed look in his eyes and just before the train was ready to leave, he got back into the carriage and closed the door. He then opened the window and continued to stare at the two postmen. The postmen were able to say that this man and the motionless woman were the only occupants of the carriage when the train arrived and departed from Northampton station.

About 10.50 p.m. the train pulled into Rugby station and a railway worker saw the man alight from the train and then came to him and asked about the next train to Glasgow. This same man boarded the 00.15 a.m. train for Glasgow on Thursday, 21st March, about the time that Police Constable Perkins was starting off on his search of the line from Birmingham.

Whilst he was at Rugby station this man was seen by three witnesses in the Waiting Room on the station. Miss Elaine Smart and her boyfriend Mr Colin Morgan had taken their friend Mr Scott Bryce to Rugby station to catch a train for Glasgow. During the time they were all In the Waiting Room the man played one of their tapes on his radio/ cassette player and it was there that Colin Morgan noticed bloodstains on the man’s trousers.

Scott Bryce struck up a conversation with the man and when the Glasgow train arrived they boarded it together. On the journey, the man gave Bryce a £10 note and asked him to get some beer and sandwiches. Bryce duly bought eight cans of lager and a few sandwiches and the two men then went on to consume them.

As they were travelling north, Bryce noticed that his companion had blood on the area of his left wrist and asked him where it had come from. He was told that it was a result of falling through a window and Bryce was shown the groin area of the other’s trousers, indicating they were heavily stained with a red substance which could have been blood. Both men travelled together all the way to Glasgow and on reaching there, parted company.

Armed with this information, enquiries were made of the Thames Valley Police at Milton Keynes to ascertain any intelligence about criminals or suspects who might have come into custody on or prior to Wednesday, 20th March, and who had some connection with Glasgow.

These enquiries paid off and revealed that Jack Roy, aged 15 years, of Shawbrldge Street, Glasgow, had visited Milton Keynes Police Station at 4.0 p.m. on Monday, 18th March 1985, to answer bail. Roy had been arrested earlier in the year on suspicion of burglary and since the enquiry could not be finalised at the time, he had been ‘delay charge’ balled. As It happened his ‘delay charge’ bail had been cancelled by letter which Roy failed to receive in time and therefore his journey to Milton Keynes was one that he was not required to undertake.

This Information gave the Investigating officers a lead and enquiries were initiated at Milton Keynes and Glasgow to trace the rail tickets that may have been used by persons travelling from any point in Scotland to Milton Keynes or from the East Midlands to Glasgow.

The search at Milton Keynes revealed that on the 18th March, two forward halves of 2nd class tickets Nos. AQ 411676 and AQ 411677 Issued at Glasgow had been collected.

Some 3,000 railway tickets handed in by passengers at Glasgow who had travelled from the south during the period 20th/21st March were handed over to the police for examination. Each ticket was examined by Detective Constables Graham Poole and John Maughan and after searching for nearly five hours Detective Constable Poole came upon the return half of ticket No. AQ 411676, Glasgow to Milton Keynes, and this ticket was bloodstained.

Further enquiries in Glasgow soon established that tickets Nos. AQ 411676 and AQ 411677 were issued to Jack Roy by the Glasgow Social Services on a warrant to enable him and his father to attend Milton Keynes in connection with the ‘delay charge’ bail.

Jack Roy was now wanted to ‘help the police with their enquiries.’ At 7.30 a.m. on Thursday, 21st March, Jack Roy arrived at 13, Rosneath Street, Glasgow, a house occupied by Mrs Joanna Henderson. On this occasion his father, also named Jack Roy, was staying there.

Mrs Henderson saw that Roy’s clothes were covered in blood and that he had cuts on his right hand. In particular, the back of his trousers was saturated and there were splashes of blood on his neck and all over the front of his jumper, trouser front and socks. He appeared to be very frightened and shaken. He was carrying a walking stick and a white plastic carrier bag which contained white training boots and these were thickly covered with blood. She also saw that he had a bite on the top of his right thumb which she later bandaged for him.

Roy’s story was that he had been attacked by three Pakistanis in London but she refused to accept this explanation and said to him, ‘You look as if you have committed a murder.’ Little did she know at the time the truthfulness of her words.

Jack Roy, Senior, who was in bed when his son arrived, got up and went to see his son in the living room in the presence of Mrs Henderson. In reply to his father’s questions, Roy said that he had sustained the cuts whilst fighting three men in Milton Keynes one of whom had a knife and they were trying to take his radio from him. Jack Roy, Snr. took his son’s trousers and soaked them and scrubbed the upper parts of the Hi-Tec boots with a nail brush In an attempt to get them clean.

Later In the day, Mrs Henderson saw that Roy had blood on his bare feet and between his toes. The appearance of Roy in such an undesirable state caused so much disruption In the house that Mrs Henderson asked the father and son to leave which they did about mid-day on Tuesday, 26th March, when they went to Shawbrldge Street where the father lived.

Edward Clarke, a friend of Roy, used the ticket allocated to Jack Roy, Snr. by the Social Services and travelled with Roy to Milton Keynes on the 18th March. Because he didn’t like Milton Keynes, Clarke returned to Glasgow the following day.

Clarke saw Roy at the former’s home during the morning of Friday, 22nd March and during the visit Roy described the fight he had had with three coloured men at Milton Keynes railway station and showed him the cuts to his hand.

When Clarke left Roy at Milton Keynes, the latter was only in possession of £6 but when they visited an amusement arcade in Shawlands. Glasgow, that afternoon. Roy handed a £10 note to the woman at the change counter and Clarke noticed that Roy had about £30 on him at the time.

Detectives later traced the cashier at the arcade who had given Roy change and she remembered the incident and recalled that the £10 note was bloodstained.

At 2.15 p.m. on Thursday, 28th March 1985, Detective Sergeant John A, Cordner and Detective Constable Barry J. Gunn of the Northamptonshire Police and Detective Sergeant Crichton and Detective Constable Traynor of the Strathclyde Police visited Shawbridge Street, Glasgow, where they saw Roy. He was told they were making enquiries into the murder of Mrs Maddocks on the London to Birmingham train the previous week.

Roy agreed that he had been in Milton Keynes and that he had later returned to Glasgow by train. He also agreed that he had been using a walking stick because of a knee injury. They asked him to accompany them to Craigie Street Police Station which Roy did quite voluntarily. However, before leaving the flat the officers took possession of some clothing, a walking stick, a pair of white Hi-Tec training boots, a radio/cassette player and a bone handled lock knife with a blade which was later to be established as the murder weapon.

At the Police Station, Roy was spoken to by Detective Sergeant Crichton and Detective Constable Traynor about the murder. He admitted having travelled on the train and in the same carriage as Mrs Maddocks. His first story was that two coloured men pestered the woman who did not want to have anything to do with them and when he intervened on her behalf, they knocked him out. When he woke up, no-one was present in the carriage and he left the train at Rugby.

When he finished telling this story Roy broke down and cried and then told the officers that what he had said was untrue and that the woman had jumped off the train.

Roy was then seen by Detective Sergeant Cordner and Detective Constable Gunn and after further questioning, he admitted that he had stabbed Mrs Maddocks in the neck whilst trying to steal her purse. He alleged that the attack took place on the train between Wolverton and Northampton and the knife he had used was the one recovered from his home. Roy then went on to say that although it was his intention to steal money from Mrs Maddocks, he failed to do so. After the stabbing he went to the toilet on the train to try and remove some of the blood from himself.

At 7.05 p.m. that night, Jack Roy was arrested by the Northampton Police officers. Arrangements were made for the prisoner and escort to be flown back to Northampton and at 10.47 p.m. that same night, Roy was in custody at Campbell Square Police Station, Northampton.

During an interview the following morning, Roy repeated his story of stabbing Mrs Maddocks and then throwing her body from the train but denied stabbing her more than once or stealing her money. He did, however, admit to stealing two rings from her fingers and said that he had later thrown them away whilst waiting on the platform at Rugby station. He went on to say that he had dragged the body by the ankles to the carriage door but denied removing her lower clothing.

The way Roy described how he got Mrs Maddocks’s body to the door confirmed the forensic science evidence found in the carriage and also the absence of blood on the soles of Mrs Maddocks’s shoes. After opening the carriage door, it remained open due to the direction of travel and therefore Roy had little difficulty in throwing the body feet first out of the train. He was later able to close the door when the train slowed down. This would account for the blood marks found on the door surrounds.

At 5.25 p.m. on Friday, 29th March, Roy was formally charged in the presence of his solicitor, with the murder of Mrs Janet Mary Maddocks at Northampton or elsewhere contrary to Common Law. He was cautioned and made no reply.

Extensive searches were carried out by teams of Police Officers in the vicinity of Rugby station in an effort to recover the two rings stolen from the deceased but all the searches proved unsuccessful and the possibility is that if Roy did throw them away, they are lying in the deep ballast of the railway track where some platelayer may find them one day not knowing the story behind his discovery.

A considerable amount of forensic evidence was gathered for examination and many of the items were dealt with at the Home Office Forensic Science Laboratory at Huntingdon. One item of significance was the Hi-Tec boots which had an unusual chevron and circular type of sole pattern. A pebble had become embedded in the sole of one of the boots and the presence of the pebble showed repeatedly in the footmarks within the carriage thus establishing without doubt Roy’s presence at the scene after the murder.

Although Mrs Maddocks’s undergarments were around her ankles when she was found, there was no evidence of any sexual assault but it was evident that they had been pulled down before she was stabbed in her private parts as there was no penetration of her undergarments which would otherwise have occurred when she was stabbed. One can only conclude that whilst Roy did not take part in any sexual act towards the deceased, he may well have obtained some form of warped sexual satisfaction by removing her undergarments and stabbing her by her private parts.

In his admissions, Roy indicated that the attack upon Mrs Maddocks started between Wolverton and Northampton. By referring to the flow of blood towards the front end of the carriage and the rail gradients over this section, it would appear that the attack had resulted in extensive bleeding by the time the Roade to Middleton section of the line had been reached.

If this was so, then Mrs Maddocks was dead by the time the train arrived at Northampton when the postal workers had seen her seated with her head resting against the carriage window. There is little doubt that Roy alighted from the carriage and retained hold of the door for one of two reasons.


(a) to dissuade any other passenger from entering the carriage;

or (b) in preparation to make good his escape should any other person or persons manage to board the carriage and find the dead woman.

Mrs Maddocks’s murder attracted a lot of national publicity and many women travellers on trains were interviewed, each expressing a fear of being alone in a railway carriage with only another male person present. Feelings were, therefore, running very high and there was much expression of public relief when Roy was apprehended.

Jack Roy was born in Glasgow on the 17th October 1969. His mother left the family home when he was one-year old and later she remarried. Jack Roy then lived with his mother and stepfather.

He went to elementary schools in England and Scotland until 1980 but by this time his overall behaviour and school attendance record was poor. This resulted in his being sent to a special school. In June 1982, this school closed but as Roy’s attitude had improved he was allowed to return home to live with his mother who now lived in Milton Keynes.

His life of crime started in 1979 when he was caught up in thefts, disorderly behaviour and breaches of the peace which resulted in many supervision orders. Following an offence of robbery in August 1982, Roy was made the subject of a Care Order and placed in the Orchard Assessment Centre, Aylesbury. He absconded from there and whilst on the run committed an offence of Actual Bodily Harm and robbery with violence. He was subsequently kept in secure accommodation.

He again absconded and in May 1983, committed a very violent robbery on a 67 year old woman at Milton Keynes and was then placed in a secure unit at Little Heath Lodge.

In February 1984, he was transferred to Glasgow on condition that he took up residence at Kenmure St. Mary’s School there.

Jack Roy who had now celebrated his 16th birthday, duly appeared before Judge Bush at the Northampton Crown Court, County Hall, Northampton, charged with the Murder of Mrs Janet Mary Maddocks. He pleaded Not Guilty’. Late in the trial, the hearing was stopped when the defence counsel claimed that Roy was under the influence of the drug LSD and didn’t know what was going on.

A second trial took place at the Birmingham Crown Court between the 14th and 21st January 1986, before Judge Otten. Mr Fennell appeared for the prosecution and Mr Rudi Naryan for the defence. Roy again pleaded ‘Not Guilty’. After hearing all the evidence the jury was unanimous in their verdict of ‘Guilty’.

Judge Otten when sentencing Roy to be detained during Her Majesty’s pleasure said that Roy was a danger to women and continued by saying that the murder was ‘evil and callous.’

‘The first blow reduced her to a rag doll and she was paralysed and unable to offer any further resistance and then you lowered her clothing and deliberately attacked her private parts.’

The removal of Roy from society for however long it takes, will allow female passengers travelling on trains to do so with some degree of safety but a case such as this takes a long time to be erased from the female mind.

The final word goes to Detective Superintendent Buckmaster who describes Roy’s tears as not being for Mrs Maddocks. Roy cried because he had been caught, not because of any remorse for what he had done. Not once in all the time that he was in custody did he say that he was sorry.

Railway murders are not easy to detect and but for the painstaking care in collecting the evidence and the diligence of the Police Officers involved in the enquiry, Roy’s apprehension could have taken longer and who knows with what result.

Everyone will recognise the cooperation that must have taken place between officers of the British Transport Police, the Northampton Police, the West Midlands Police, the Thames Valley Police and the Strathclyde Police which brought this case to a successful conclusion, all under the skilful and dedicated leadership of Detective Superintendent Tony Buckmaster.

Was it fate that prevented Roy from receiving the letter from the Thames Valley Police cancelling his attendance at Milton Keynes and for Mrs Maddocks not seeing there was a faster train to Birmingham. Both need not have been on the 9.02 p.m. train. Mrs Maddocks did not finish her train journey but meeting Jack Roy on it finished her life.



This article originally appeared in the BTP Journal, Volume 2 No. 11, SUMMER 1986