Murder #4, Fletcher Allen, Romford

Murder #4, Fletcher Allen, Romford

14 month old Fletcher Allen was punched in the stomach by his father, Nathan Allen when he would not stop crying. He died hours later in hospital from internal bleeding from his kidneys. Allen had also suffered a fractured rib, bruises to his head and a bite to his face. Nathan Allen, aged 27, went on trial at the Old Bailey on November 29, 2011. He admitted manslaughter but denied murder. Allen was cleared of murder and was jailed for nine years on the lesser charge.

I don’t think I had ever been to Romford in NE London. It was quite a trek to reach the street where 14 month old Fletcher Allen had been killed by his father. It was early in the morning and I was apprehensive as it was the murder of a child. Society quite rightly finds the murder of children as the most heinous of crimes. I didn’t want my presence to inflame anyone’s anger. But I found the street eerily quiet in the cold morning of  early January. My project was still not fully formed in my mind and I struggled to make a photograph in the harsh sunlight. A few minutes after I started photographing the neighbour of the house where Fletcher died came out and shouted at me to not photograph her house as she had nothing to do with the murder. I assured her I wouldn’t but she continued yelling at me so I stopped and left, not sure in my mind I had the photograph I wanted. Still I had vowed to myself that I would not cause anyone more grief in the course of my project. The death of anyone, specially a child, was traumatic enough. I left feeling guilty and at the same time frustrated that I had not communicated better.

I am including a link to the case below from the excellent murdermap.co.uk. It is a website that catalogues every murder that has happened in London since 2007 and has other notorious murders that have occurred in London since 1811 beginning with the Ratcliffe Highway Murders. The highlight of the site is an interactive map that shows the location of each of the murders catalogued in the website. Many thanks to Peter Stubley who runs the site. I will write more about the site in future blogs. Murdermap has been an invaluable resource for my project.

http://www.murdermap.co.uk/pages/cases/case.asp?CID=144442700&VID=493&Case=Baby-son-killed-by-his-father:-Fletcher-Allen

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