ASHAMED husband and war veteran, William Beavan murdered his wife after returning from the Boer War to find she had birthed two children in his absence. 

The brutal crime was committed above the London Restaurant in the city in the September of 1905. 

Beavan had been serving overseas as part of the King's Shropshire Regiment, he had an exemplary 18-year military record, before then he had been a tailor in Abergavenny. 

Just after the outbreak of the Boer War in South Africa, William left the town to serve the army - a celebrated veteran he was awarded two medals for his service. 

Ensuring he provided for his family, Beavan regularly sent money home for his wife Sarah and their children. 

Whilst Beavan was away at war Sarah grew lonely and tired of her monotinous life raising her children alone. 

Seeking excitement and companionship elsewhere, she found love with a Great Western Railway bridgeman called William John Cooke. 

The adulterous couple moved in together in Newport, whilst Beavan was away Sarah bore two children by Cooke.

Wanting to settle down in Bloemfontein after the Boer War, Beavan had hoped to set up a tailor's business in his new home. 

However, Sarah refused to move to South Africa so Beavan returned to try and convince her of the brilliant new life they could have. 

On his return he visited the new couple's home to find his wife had moved on whilst he was away. 

One night he even slept upstairs in the house while his wife, aged 31, and her lover remained downstairs.

Beside himself, Beavan tearily confided in his landlord Mr Mattick, and said he would forgive her everything if she returned.

At lunch time on September 19, he received an unexpected visit from his wife and their six-year-old son.

The family dined together at the London Restaurant before going upstairs to his lodgings.

His wife continued to reject his request and scolded him for crying.

Distraught and desperate he brutally slashed her throat with a razor, Sarah tried to run out but fell down the stairs and soon died in hospital.

The sensational murder trial gripped Wales, he narrowly escaped the death penalty and was sentenced to imprisonment with hard labour.

Due to the circumstances leading up to the crime there was a huge public outcry leading to a petition calling for Beavan's release gaining 30,000 signiatures. 

In 1910, an appeal was made to King George V on his accession to the throne. Weeks later, the Home Secretary recommended that Mr Beavan be released after 7.5 years.

Have you heard of any historic Newport murders? Let us know in the comments or email