May 12th 1958: The partly clothed body of Veronica Ryan,aged 25, a nursing orderly at the Three Counties mental hospital,near Bedfordshire, was found beside the road near the hospital early yesterday by Mr.J.Bendick, a male nurse at the establishment. Miss Ryan's home was at St .Vincent Street, Cork.
Plain clothes police with dogs searched the ditches and thick undergrowth on each side the road while other officers made inquiries at the Three Counties Hospital and Fairfield's Hospital, it's annexe and at the adjoining London chest Hospital. Dr. F. E. Camps, the home office pathologist, made a preliminary investigation before the body was removed. It was believed that death was from strangulation.
Miss Ryan had been at the hospital for about a year and had living quarters in the Fairfield annexe.
It is believed that on Sunday night she cycled into Letchworth and that on returning to the hospital she was walking, pushing her cycle, when she was attacked.



MAY 23 rd 1958: Lyndon Emrys Mydrum Nott, of Bedford Road Letchworth, made a brief appearance at Biggleswade on Wednesday in connection with a charge of murdering Veronica Ryan ,a ward orderly, of Three Counties Hospital, Stotfold, on May 10.

He was further remanded in custody for a week. Dep-Supt, John Maclver, of New Scotland Yard, Indicating to the magistrates that the prosecution would be prepared to proceed with the case in about two or three weeks.



JUNE 20th 1958: A charge of murder was preferred against Lyndon Emrys Mydrum Nott,

Aged 25, of Bedford Road, Letchworth, at Biggleswade magistrates court on Friday,

Nott was accused of murdering Miss Veronica Ryan, a ward orderly at Three Counties hospital, at a spot beside the Hitchin Road, Stotfold, on May 10.Through his counsel, Nott pleaded "Not Guilty" and reserved his defence. In response to an application from his counsel, he was granted a defence certificate for two counsel at his trail at Bedfordshire Assizes in October, and remanded in custody.
Evidence of statements alleged to have been made by the accused man was taken by camera.



OCTOBER 10th 1958: Accused at Bedfordshire Assizes on Wednesday of what the judge described as "foul murder in circumstances of savage ferocity"Lyndon Emrys Nott, {25} of Bedford, Road, Letchworth, was found guilty but insane and ordered to be detained in Her Majesty's pleasure.
evidence was given that shortly before Nott stabbed Miss Veronica Ryan, a 28 year-old orderly of Three Counties, Mental hospital, a passing motorist stopped his car and shone a torch on the man and his victim.
Before he stabbed Miss Ryan, however, Nott strangled her, although she was still alive when he plunged the knife into her her body. The motorist, thinking he had seen a courting couple, and unwilling to be a Peeping Tom, doused his torch and went on his way.Mr Graham Swannick, Q.C. told the jury that he had to unfold to them a tragic and ugly story,
When cycling home to the Three Counties mental Hospital at about 10.15 p.m. on May 10 miss Ryan had reached a spot within a few hundred yards of her destination, She passed a public-house when it must have been shortly after turning out time, and then Nott came up behind her on his bicycle.
"He came up from behind her and pushed her and her bicycle into a ditch about three feet deep at the side of that unlighted road. He then got on top of her. He punched her heavily on the jaw and in the face. There were at least two heavy blows. He put one hand over her mouth, presumably to stop her cries, and with the other hand he proceeded to strangle her with considerable violence so much so as to fracture the bones of her throat.”

 "Then at the bottom of that ditch he raped her and, not content with that, he drew from inside his jacket a sheath knife which he used at his work place at a slaughter-house, and with that knife he stabbed that girl twice, He left her for dead and cycled off home".
After that continued Mr Swannick, Nott took steps to conceal the weapon he had used and the jacket he wore. It is perhaps one of the most poignant aspects of this tragedy that so nearly was the final culminating act averted, because along that road at this time there passed a car driven by Mr Tucker. " He noticed that the wheel of the cycle belonging to the prisoner was projecting from the verge into the road, so he pulled back and went back to the vicinity taking with him the only torch he had.

Unfortunate it was a small one and rather dim.


He saw by the light of his torch that there were not one but two cycles, one lying on the verge and one in the ditch. He looked into the ditch and there he saw a couple, the man, as he thought, put up his hand to try to shield their faces from inspection."Mr Tucker jumped to the natural conclusion that this was a courting couple, and, not wanting to play the Peeping Tom he went back to his motor-car". Later,said Mr Swannick, the prisoner walked into Plymouth police station and said to the officer there, "i am the bloke they are looking for:" Nott produced a copy of the Daily Mirror and pointed to some columns in it referring to the murder of Miss Ryan. It was obvious from what Nott said that he knew more about the crime than was published in the news paper. Later he made a full confession.


Mr Richard John Ryan, the dead woman's brother, said that his sister had been visiting him and his and his wife at there home in Bedford Road, Letchworth, and he saw her leave to cycle back to the Hospital at about 10.15 p.m. That was the last time he saw her alive.Answering Mr Joseph Grieves, Q.C. defending Mr Ryan said that so far as he knew his sister was completely unknown to Nott.
Mr Charles Alfred James Tucker of High Street Stotfold said he had been to the cinema at Letchworth with his wife, and when returning on the night of May 10 he saw part of a cycle on the verge. He stopped his car and got out. " I had a small torch, not very bright" he said "I saw one cycle and another one further back into the grass verge. Then i saw what thought was a courting couple in the ditch.

The man appeared to be partly over the woman."


Mr John Francis Bentick, Mullway, Letchworth Described how he found the body in the ditch when on his way to the Hospital at 6.30 a.m. on May 11. Dr Jack Davies The Chase, Arlesey, described Injuries he saw on the body and said they were consistent with great violence being used and also probably with great haste. Insp, William V. Mitchell, Plymouth City police told the court that Nott walked into Plymouth City police station on May 13 and said: "I am the bloke they are looking for."

At the same time he produced a copy of the Daily Mirror and pointed to a report of the murder.

Accused Statement

Dept. Supt. John MacIver of Scotland Yard, said that Nott made a statement at Plymouth on May 13. He then read the statement:

" I want to tell you all I can remember of how I killed the girl on Stotfold Road on Saturday night last week. I was cycling along the road near the Two Chimneys public house. It was about the time the pubs were turning out. I was cycling towards Three Counties Hospital, I saw a girl walking with a bicycle in front of me. I got off my bicycle and followed her. I think she got on her bike but not before then,I pushed her off the bike and she fell Inwards into the ditch, I got off my bike and got on top of her and hit her on the jaw with my fist.

That is how I got the scratches on my knuckles.I then put one hand over her mouth and strangled her with the other hand.”


"My left thumb is broken, I think I did it when i got off my bike and got on top of her.I did not notice it until afterwards, While she was lying in the ditch I assaulted her..... I stabbed her. I think twice in the breast.

It was with a sheath knife I had in my inside jacket pocket. I don't know why i did this. Before I stabbed her a motor-car passed us and stopped a little way away, whilst I was in the ditch with the girl. A man came from the car and shone a torch on us in the ditch. The light from the torch was not very strong. The man did not stay or speak but went back to his car and drove away.
"I pulled the girl's bicycle into the ditch.,my bike was on the edge of the road and part of it was sticking into the road... I didn’t recognise the girl, but have since read in the newspapers that the girl was Veronica Ryan and I remember having seen her at Three Counties Hospital. After I stabbed her I got on my bike and went home.


" I went to work on Monday and gave my notice in, but did not stay. I caught a train at 7.42 from Letchworth to London. At 1.10 a.m. this morning I caught a train from Waterloo to Atavistic. I caught a train from Tavistock to Plymouth and the gave myself up to the police for murder.”



Cross-examined. Det Supt, MacIver said that Nott came from a very poor family and at the age of ten, because of neglect by his family, he was sent to a Dr Barnados home.He there showed violence, and in 1949,at the age of 16,he was sent to Claybury Mental Hospital where he was certified, and remained for four years.He was released from there in February, 1953, and then had several employments.

He also had certain convictions for dishonesty. He was last released from prison in February 1957. On march 21,1957, he entered Three Counties Hospital, Arlesey, as a voluntary patient.

He left there in July 1957, and three weeks later he was placed on probation after attempting suicide, in consequence, he entered another mental hospital and remained there until September 1957, within a fortnight of his release from that hospital he again attempted suicide.

At the end of October he was sent to prison for an offence of dishonesty and released on December 10 last. He then obtained employment which he was following at the time of the offence.



Det. Insp Donald R. Upchurch described how he found certain property at Nott's home and later went to a house in High Avenue, Letchworth, the home of Mrs Hustable, and found a commando-type knife. From December 1957 until the offence Nott worked at the Hertfordshire bacon factory at Letchworth, firstly in the department where carcasses where cut up and then in the slaughter-house.
Dr Francis E. Camps said he had examined the body of Miss Ryan and in his opinion death was caused by a stab wound in the chest which penetrated the heart and also he had to include strangulation.



Dr Camps was asked by Mr Grieves “Do you think if she had not been stabbed the strangulation would have killed her anyway?" He replied. " I think that probably she would have died from strangulation unless very immediate medical treatment could have been given". At this stage Mr Grieves told the jury that he would call evidence to show Nott was a mad man in the layman's sense of the word."

and he would invite them to find that Nott was insane in law.
He then called Dr. Leslie Ford medical superintendent of Three Counties Hospital, who said he believed that Nott knew what he was doing at the time of the offence, but that he could not distinguish between right and wrong by reason of a disorder of the mind, namely, schizophrenia.He said that when Nott was 20 he had two brainstorms. During one he attacked his mother with a pair of scissors and in the other he had to be held down by seven policemen.



Cross-examined, DR. Ford said he thought that as Nott worked in a slaughter house and was an abnormal person meant that he might have been more likely to murder a person,

Mr Swannick then told the jury that he would put forward that this was a case of diminished responsibility rather than insanity. Dr. Francis Brisby principal medical officer of Brixton prison , said he believed Nott was not a schizophrenic, but a psychopath.

This was a person who had impulses which he was often unable to control but he would know he was doing wrong. He was of the opinion that at the material time Nott was suffering from abnormality of the mind which would impair his mental responsibility for his acts.
Dr. John Batt. medical superintendent of a mental hospital at Epsom, said he also thought that Nott was a psychopath. He said the crime showed an element of sustained purpose which took it out of the category of a schizophrenic attack.The hearing was then adjourned until Wednesday mourning.



Summing up to the jury on Wednesday in what he described as a case of very foul murder in circumstances of savage ferocity, the judge said there were two possible verdicts.
The jury can say he said, “That this man is guilty of murder but insane at the time he did it.

That is what is called a special verdict of Guilty but insane and that is the verdict which the defence have been contending is correct.”
“The other verdict which you can give is one of Not Guilty of murder but Guilty of manslaughter and you would return that verdict If you came to the conclusion that he was not responsible for what he did in the full sense, that his responsibility was diminished by reason of his mental condition".
"So it is a question for you to decide to what extent he was answerable for what he did.

If he was unanswerable, not responsible at all for what he did because he was insane at the time, you will find him not Guilty but insane. "

“If you think he was partly responsible, Knew partly what he was doing but that his responsibility for his action was diminished then you will find him Not Guilty of murder but Guilty of manslaughter.”



The Murder Of Nurse Orderly

Miss Veronica Ryan.

Veronica Ryan Newspaper Reports

The Front Page Of The Daily Mirror

Dated May 12th 1958

Please Click On The Front Page To See More  News Paper Articles

Lyndon Nott

Lyndon Emerys Mydrum Nott

We believe Being Led Away From Biggleswade Court

Please Click On The Picture For more Details About Lyndon Nott

Veronica Ryan was laid to rest in a Hertfordshire cemetery

This is her grave as it stands today in January 2015

Still tendered and cared for by her loved ones



JURY OUT 15 MINUTES: Later the judge said "In the state of the evidence I think it is right to direct you that Dr. Ford's evidence that this crime was committed during a schizophrenic seizure is an opinion which you ought to accept because neither of the other two doctors will say that it is wrong.. "The fact that they don't share Dr. Fords opinion is neither here nor there.

They go a long way towards actual agreement although they won't go the whole way."

After 15 minuets retirement the jury found Nott Guilty but insane and Mr. Justice Elwes ordered that he be detained until Her Majesty's pleasure be known.

          After the hearing Lyndon Nott was taken to Broadmoor high-security psychiatric Hospital

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