28th July 1947

Murderer sentenced to death in three hours

Murderer James Ozanne was sentenced to death after a trial lasting just three hours. The 53-year-old labourer had stood accused of shooting his house keeper, 40-year-old widow Clara Ogier, in the head. She had died of her injuries.

Although found guilty, for which the court could only pass a sentence of death, the judge made a strong recommendation for mercy.

His life was spared

His sentence was thus commuted to penal servitude for life two weeks later. He served only nine years of his life sentence and was released on 27 July 1956.

The case had received widespread coverage beyond Guernsey, and the Gloucester Citizen reported, on 16 August, that the auctioneer who was tasked with selling Ozanne’s house had made “constant reminders during the bidding of the urgency for a high price”. He wasn’t just trying to earn himself more commission: “The future of Ozanne’s children Pearl (10) and Harold (15), said the auctioneer, ‘depended entirely on the proceeds of the auction.’ Both children watched the sale.”

The house where the killing had taken place eventually sold for £2100 – and the contents for £46.

 

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Other events that occured in July

Guernseyman Edward Tupper killed by cannibals 1st
Alderney is occupied by German forces 2nd
Seigneur of Sark, Michael Beaumont, dies aged 88 3rd
Guernsey hosted the Island Games 2003 closing ceremony 4th
New coins are minted for Guernsey 5th
Royal Guernsey Light Infantry Museum opens 6th
Victor Hugo statue is unveiled in Candie Gardens 7th
First Commando raid of the Second World War 8th
Birth of Sark-based writer Mervyn Peake 9th
Guernsey nurses go on hunger strike 10th
ITV broadcasts first episode of Island at War 11th
A Guernsey man posted himself to Sark 12th
Murderer Peter Robin sentenced to death 13th
Victor Hugo plants his United States of Europe oak 14th
Point Law runs aground off Alderney 15th
Racing yacht Westward is blown up off Guernsey
BBC made its first ever Channel Islands broadcast 16th
The Star received some “grave” news 17th
The Guernsey Martyrs were burned at the stake 18th
Prince Charles and Camilla visit Guernsey 19th
President Garcia is re-floated in Saints Bay 20th
Typhoid suspect holidaymaker flies home 21st
Guernsey Controlling Committee’s Sir John Leale died 22nd
Alderney to Guernsey radio connection established 23rd
Val des Terres was first opened for traffic 24th
The BBC broadcasts from Sark for the first time 25th
Guernsey court escapee was caught again 26th
Braye du Valle was gifted by the crown 27th
Murderer sentenced to death in three hours 28th
Guernsey bought Herm from the mainland 29th
Albert Lamy appointed Guernsey Police Chief Officer 30th
Guernsey to Jersey plane crashed into the sea 31st