Capital punishment in the Isle of Man

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Capital punishment in the Isle of Man was formally abolished in 1993.[1] The Isle of Man is a British Crown Dependency, but not part of the United Kingdom (which had effectively abolished capital punishment in 1965).

The last person to be actually hanged on the Isle of Man was John Kewish, at Castletown in 1872. No execution had taken place on the island during the three decades before that. Capital punishment was not abolished by Tynwald (the island's parliament) until 1993. Many people were sentenced to death (for murder and various other crimes) on the Isle of Man between 1873 and 1992.

The last person to be sentenced to death on the Isle of Man (and anywhere in the British Isles) was Anthony Robin Denys Teare, at the Court of General Gaol Delivery in Douglas, in 1992. The case was heard before the Second Deemster of the Isle of Man, Henry Callow. Deemster Callow thus became the last judge in the British Isles to pass a death sentence (but chose not to wear a black cap whilst doing so). Following sentencing, Teare engaged a new lawyer, Louise Byrne, who immediately took the case to the appeal court, where the conviction was quashed. A retrial was ordered, and a search for new evidence was made.

At the second trial Teare was represented by Peter Thornton QC, an English counsel. William Kelly, a prison healthcare officer at the Isle of Man Prison, gave evidence that Teare had told him on a number of occasions of how he had murdered the victim, Corinne Bentley. It was on his evidence alone that Teare was convicted of murder for the second time and entered the history books as the last man in the British Isles to be sentenced to death and the first in the Isle of Man to be sentenced to life imprisonment (all previous life sentences had been commuted from death sentences). Corinne's brother was in court as Teare, head bowed, received a minimum of twelve years imprisonment. He was sent to HMP Wakefield in Yorkshire.



  • Farraghers, Tony (July 11, 1992). "Manx court sentences man to be hanged". The Independent. Retrieved October 17, 2013.
  • O'Mara, Richard (July 21, 1992). "For clients of Pierrepoint, a stretch and then some". London Bureau. The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved October 17, 2013.