The French Connection
Hume’s trial took place on the 18 January 1950 at the Old Bailey. Hume stuck to his story that he had not seen Setty on the day of his murder. He also maintained that the bloodstains had come about because of the parcels having been in his flat. It was left to the jury to make up its own mind on this and the story Hume stuck to that he had carried out an errand for three smugglers.
The defence managed to find a witness who admitted that had worked in Paris with a gang of car smugglers. His description of the men and some of the names seemed to correlate to Hume’s story. The jury were left to ponder whether the gang really existed and that Hume had been an unwilling accomplice.
The Judge, Mr Justice Sellers addressed the jury and laid out the various facts and assumptions they had to make. Could Hume’s story about the three men delivering parcels containing Setty’s body parts be true, especially when the men had no idea when Hume’s wife and child would be at home? Hume also claimed that one of the men pointed a gun at him, but why asked the judge would these men trust someone they had only met a few days before? Finally, he reminded the jury that if there was any doubt in the jurors’ minds about what happened then they were compelled to return a verdict of not guilty.
On the 20 January, 1950, the jury retired at noon after the judge’s last words. It took less than three hours for an astonishing verdict to be announced; that they all failed to agree. Hume himself was baffled and elated that he had not heard the word ‘guilty’ for he knew he was now not to hang.
After twelve more jury members were sworn in, the one indictment of which Hume was found guilty was of being an accessory after the fact to murder. When Hume was asked if pleaded ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’ to this charge the canny murderer replied in the affirmative.
Hume was sentenced to just twelve years in prison.