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Derek Bentley: Derek William Bentley (30 June 1933 – 28 January 1953) was a British teenager hanged for the murder of a police officer, committed in the course of a burglary attempt. The murder of the police officer was committed by a friend and accomplice of Bentley's, Christopher Craig, then aged 16. Bentley was convicted as a party to the murder, by the English law principle of common criminal purpose "joint enterprise". The judge in court sentenced Bentley to death based on an interpretation of the phrase "Let him have it" (Bentley's alleged instruction to Craig), describing Bentley as "mentally aiding the murder of Police Constable Sidney Miles".
Early life: Derek Bentley attended Norbury Secondary Modern School in 1944, after failing the eleven-plus examination. In March 1948 Bentley and another boy were arrested for theft. In September 1948, he was sentenced to serve three years at Kingswood Approved School, near Bristol. Bentley was released from Kingswood school on 28 July 1950, and was a recluse for the rest of the year. In March 1951, Bentley was employed by a furniture removal firm but was forced to leave the job after injuring his back in March 1952. In May 1952, Bentley was taken on by the Croydon Corporation as a waste collector but was demoted tostreet cleaning for unsatisfactory performance in July 1952. Two months after that, Bentley was sacked by the Corporation
Bentley's case: Bentley and Craig were charged with murder. They were tried by jury before the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Lord Goddard, at the Old Bailey in London between 9 December and 11 December 1952. Christmas Humphreys, Senior Treasury Counsel, led for the prosecution. At the time of the burglary attempt and Miles's death, murder was a capital offence in England and Wales. Minors fewer than 18 were not sentenced to death: consequently, of the two defendants, only Bentley faced the death penalty if convicted. The doctrine of felony murder or "constructive malice" meant that a charge of manslaughter was not an option, as the "malicious intent" of the armed robbery was transferred to the shooting.

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