Bentley, Derek William

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Bentley, Derek William Gender: M
born on 30 June 1933 at 23:50 (= 11:50 PM )
Place Southwark, England, 51n30, 0w06
Timezone GDT h1e (is daylight saving time)
Data source
Rodden Rating B
Collector: Rodden
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_cancol.18.gif 08°39' s_mo.18.gif s_libcol.18.gif 09°15 Asc.s_piscol.18.gif 08°48'

Portrait of Derek William Bentley 
(click to view image source)
Derek William Bentley
license fair-use


British homicide accomplice who suffered from a head injury at four when he fell 15 feet; the injury left him learning disabled, with severe epilepsy and retarded. He was in juvenile court for theft in 1948, and attended reform school for three years. One of his many jobs included being a dustman.

In late 1951, he became friends with Christopher Craig, who completely dominated him. On 11/22/1952, they went on a robbery, at which time Craig shot a cop. Both were charged with murder and Bentley was convicted on 12/11/1952. He was hanged on 1/28/1953 at the age of 19. Craig spent the rest of his life in prison as he was 16 at the time of the crime and too young to receive the death sentence.

(Bentley's mother, Iris, spent 40 years seeking her brother's pardon due to his mental incapacity; she died before any action was taken. His sister, Maria, born nine years after Bentley's death, took up the cause of his mother. Finally, on 7/30/1998 the British legal system cleared his name of the murder charge. Interest was regenerated in the case after a 1991 movie about Bentley's story was released entitled "Let Him Have It." Two years later, Britain's Home Secretary, Michael Howard, granted a limited pardon to Derek, saying that his crime did not merit the death penalty. It was another five years, however, before the full pardon was granted.)

In 2004, Dr., Denis Saunders writes to PT: "The robbery was at 21h20 November 2 1952. He was arrested the same day at 21h35. He was charged at 05h30 the following morning of November 3rd 1952. All of this took place in Croyden.

"The trial started on December 9th 1952 (probably 10h00 when the courts open). The judge was Chief Justice Lord Goddard. If i remeber correctly he was known as 'The Hanging Judge'. He was sentenced December 9th 1952 at 16h00 London time, which is when the courts normaly close.

"He appealled and it was denied on the 13th January 1953, having remained in Wandsworth Prison during that time. He was hanged at 09h00 January 1953. You might also want to know that a doctor who wanted to testify to his epilepsy was forbidden to do so and a policeman by the name of Pain, who was on the roof at the time of the shooting, and did not hear Bentley say 'let him have it, Chris' which was the main statement that got him the death sentence, was not called to testify.

"It was only in 1970 when he read Yellop's book that he realised the importance of his evidence. Just though you would like that bit of info."

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • associate relationship with Fyfe, David Maxwell (born 29 May 1900). Notes: Refused to grant him a reprieve


  • Crime : Trial dates 1948 (In court for theft)
  • Financial Crime Perpetration 2 November 1952 at 9:20 PM in Croydon (Went on robbery with friend)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Crime : Homicide Perpetration 2 November 1952 at 9:20 PM in Croydon (Present when friend shot, accomplice)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Crime : Trial dates 11 December 1952 (Convicted of murder)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death by Execution 28 January 1953 (Hanged, age 19)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Social : Great Publicity 1991 (Movie about case regenerated interest)
  • Work : Gain social status 30 July 1998 (Name cleared of murder charge)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Astrology, 12/1967, quotes biography by William Bentley, "My Son's Execution," "born just before midnight"


  • Traits : Mind : I.Q. low (Mental age of 11 at best; childhood head trauma)
  • Diagnoses : Major Diseases : Epilepsy (Severe)
  • Diagnoses : Body Part Problems : Accident/Injury (Fell, hit head)
  • Passions : Criminal Perpetrator : Executed (Hanged)
  • Passions : Criminal Perpetrator : Homicide involvement (Accomplice shot cop)
  • Passions : Criminal Perpetrator : Thief/ Financial crime (Robbery)
  • Personal : Death : Short Life less than 29 Yrs (19 years)
  • Vocation : Misc. : Trash collector
  • Notable : Famous : Criminal cases (Charged and hanged)