Just after six o’clock, on the evening of 26 November 1888, an eight-year-old boy called Percy Knight Searle was murdered in the centre of Havant. His mother had sent him on an errand into town to collect a parcel of shirting from the local draper’s shop. On his return journey Percy was attacked from behind by an assailant lurking in the shadows of a school wall. An attempt was made to cut his windpipe with a pocketknife, but the fatal blow came from a savage three inch deep puncture wound just below the right ear. Percy died minutes later from a haemorrhage to the carotid artery.
‘Murder of A Boy At Havant’ (Illustrated Police News. 8 December 1888). British Library Board