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The woman still searching for answers after dad killed her pregnant mum

Retired nurse Laura Flynn has spent countless hours trying to piece together the horrific details of a childhood so traumatic she still bears emotional scars.

She was just nine-years-old when her father suffocated his wife of 10 years at their family home.

A murder trial that followed was told that Laura’s mum, Jean Mary Flynn from Huddersfield, had been having an ‘affair’ with a 15-year-old boy and was pregnant at the time of her death.

Her partner Thomas, a window cleaner, was aware his wife had been unfaithful and was found guilty of her manslaughter but not guilty of her murder, Yorkshire Live reports.

Shortly after he was convicted, he took his own life in HM Prison Leeds.

At the time, Laura knew nothing of this as she was informed, on the day of her mum’s death, that both her parents had been killed in a car crash.

She didn’t learn the awful truth until she was 13 when a school friend told her.

Now 68, Laura has been trying to find out more about the tragic events and how they affected her life.

She has discovered that her father had many previous convictions and had been violent.

Jean Flynn

Laura has also discovered the name of the man who as a 15-year-old was reported to have had had an ‘affair’ with her mum and was thought to be the father of her unborn baby.

She believes he now lives in the United States but hasn’t been able to speak to him yet.

“I didn’t realise that dad was such a dangerous man. I think he had tried to kill mum earlier with a cobbler’s knife, in March 1957. Mum must have been really scared. He was given three years’ probation.”

Laura has learned from reports that her father was “extremely unstable”, was of limited intelligence, and illiterate.

“As a child, he was neglected, had savage discipline, and was of an extremely excitable nature.

He had been in trouble with the police from the age of 10 and had been in borstal from 1947 to 1949. By the time of his death, he had 13 criminal convictions.

Thomas and Jean Flynn
Thomas and Jean Flynn

Laura still wants to know why action wasn’t taken to protect her and her siblings from such a dangerous man.

And she is bitter that she wasn’t able to see her father after her mother’s death. She believes he may have lived had he been able to have contact with his children while in jail.

Laura is especially keen to track down Craigley Allison who was named in contemporary newspaper reports at the murder trial as having been involved with Laura’s mother.

“I tracked down an address for Craigley in New York and wrote to him but with no response.

“If Craigley could be tracked down and I could communicate with him that would be incredible.”

Laura said it would help her understand more about her mum.

“It’s my biggest wish before I leave the planet to find Craigley. From the newspaper articles, my dad had various conversations with Craigley’s mother.”

Thomas Flynn pictured with his four children when the family lived at Bolster Moor
Thomas Flynn pictured with his four children when the family lived at Bolster Moor

Laura says that she still nurses a lot of ‘grievances’ about what happened and her treatment by the authorities in Huddersfield following the deaths of her parents.

She recalls the adoption process with horror. She was adopted by Ronnie and Pat Sanders but hadn’t wanted the adoption to go ahead.

A social services ‘housemother’ allegedly told Laura that if she didn’t go along with it “No one will have you.”

“These words ring in my ears every day and have had a massive effect on my life.”

Laura says that sharing her life story has helped her come to terms with what happened.

Last year, several Huddersfield people came forward after she appealed through Yorkshire Live for information about her past.

“I had compassionate responses as well which was very heartwarming. Now people know the suffering I have had. Some people felt compassion for me.

“It was a tremendous comfort to have all those lovely people (get in touch).

“What happened is a terrible story. My dad should not have been allowed to have four children.

“My dad ended up in a pauper’s grave which is wicked.

Newspaper cutting of the tragic events of 1962
Newspaper cutting of the tragic events of 1962

“I could have seen my dad before he hung himself. He might have lived if he had seen me.

“The social services denied me that with their lies. I feel very bitter over this.”

Laura said she was thankful to Yorkshire Live for publishing her story and appealing for information.

“I want to say a massive thank you to you. I would never have known all the facts. I’ve had some lovely messages from people. I am getting love from the public.

“Nobody on this planet has helped me more than you – I’m indebted to you.

“I feel that I am healing.”

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