Olivia Brine and Harold Denison – Full Statements

The statements of Olivia Brine and Harold Denison, courtesy of John Gannon.

Statements taken to determine the whereabouts of Gordon Parry on the night of the murder.

Harold English Denison 26/01/1931:

43, Knocklaid Road.
26.1.31.

Harold English DENNISON, 29, Marlborough Road says:-

I have known R.G.Parry for two years. I called at 43 Knocklaid Road on Tuesday 20th inst. about 6p.m. My aunt Mrs.Brine lives there. When I called Mr.Parry was there. He remained till about 8.30p.m. when he left.

(Signed) H.E.Denison.

Olivia Alberta Brine 26/01/1931:

43, Knocklaid Road.
26.1.31.

Olivia Alberta BRINE says:-

I am a married woman, my husband is away at sea. I have known R.G.Parry about two years. Just before last Christmas he commenced calling with my nephew William Denison, 29, Marlborough Road. At about 5p.m. to 5.30p.m. on Tuesday the 20th inst. Parry called at my house. He came in his car. He remained till about 8.30p.m. when he left. Whilst he was here a Miss Plant, Gloucester Road called. My nephew Harold Denison also called.

(Signed) O.A.Brine.

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5 Responses to Olivia Brine and Harold Denison – Full Statements

  1. David Metcalf says:

    Great site this!!I’ve been fascinated with the Wallace case for many years, thanks to my late Dad.Read numerous books, watched stuff on TV, listened to the radio etc.And I’m convinced Parry is definitely involved…even if he wasn’t the murderer.The Olivia Brine statement, along with Dennison, seems to provide Parry with his alibi for the night of the murder.But exactly WHY was he at her house in Knoclaid Road between 5.30 and 8.30 that night?Neither Brine nor Denson’s statements give even the slightest indication as to the reason for Parry’s presence.And why no statement from Phylis Plant, who was also there?

  2. David Metcalf says:

    Hi,Sorry for such a late reply.Just want to say that my Dad wasn’t the Metcalf who was around Wolverton Street in 1931!! No relation, as far as I’m aware. But he was really interested in murder cases generally, and particularly this one, what with it being local.
    But I definitely find the Olivia Brine alibi/statements really odd. Between roughly 5.30 and 8.30, five people spent time at 43 Knoclaid Road….yet we have no idea what they did or talked about. What was the purpose of the visits by not only Parry, but also Denison and Plant? We don’t even find out what time Plant arrived or left. Parry claims in his statement that he “finished business at 5.30”…so if we take him at his word, and he WASN’T there on business, then why exactly why WAS he there? Indeed, as I’ve already said, why were any of them there, other than Brine and her daughter, who obviously both lived there. Were Brine or Plant Standard Life clients of Parry possibly? And I wonder if there was any connection between the Brines, Parry’s parents, and also the Williamsons, who Parry visited later that evening, when he received the 21st Birthday invitation. I agree with Antony Brown when he describes this as a very fragile alibi. As Brown also points out, the statements provided by Parry, Brine and Denison all seem to dovetail very neatly, despite none of them explaining why they were there or what they were doing for the best part of three hours!! The fact that 35 years after the murder, Parry still wasn’t prepared to tell Jonathan Goodman he’d been at Brine’s house for three hours simply adds to the mystery. As Brown says, both Olivia Brine and Denison were still alive when Goodman spoke to Parry in London in 1966, so he may not have wanted Goodman to go looking for them to ask questions. But if he truly had nothing to do with this case, and was totally innocent, then Goodman questioning Brine and Denison wouldn’t have worried him…they’d have confirmed his alibi if it were genuine.So why was he so determined not to tell anyone he’d spent those three hours at Olivia Brine’s house?? We’ll almost certainly never find out now, but could it be that Parry never was at 43 Knoclaid Road that night? Or even if he was, not for as long as he claimed? Very strange!! Sorry for the long post by the way, but I’m convinced there’s something not quite right about this particular aspect of the case.

  3. Michael Fitton says:

    Hi David,
    You raise several very good points to highlight the weakness of Parry’s Brine alibi. I also noted from Lilly Lloyd’s statement that on the 20th January Parry called at her home around 9 pm. She asked him where he had been and he said he’d visited Mrs Williamson and had received an invitation to Leslie W’s 21st birthday party. Mrs Lloyd, Lillian’s mother states that Lillian told Parry he was late and Parry mentioned Williamson and the Hignett appointment. Parry made no mention of visiting Mrs Brine & Co for approx 3 hours that evening, just referring to (1) his visit to the Williamson home which according to his statement lasted 10 minutes, and (2) the call for his battery!
    If the Brine visit was innocent why not mention it? As you say, what on earth did they talk about for 3 hours? I doubt there was a romantic attachment with Mrs Brine, just as I doubt she would cover for a suspected murderer. But what if Parry, a known “ladies man,” had been with a Miss X for a part of that evening and he had not yet persuaded Mrs Brine to provide him with an alibi, a harmless deception so that Lilly Lloyd didn’t find out? Just speculation I know. And of course, a solid alibi may prove innocence but the absence of it doesn’t prove guilt….

  4. David Metcalf says:

    Hi Michael,Sorry for not replying to you sooner.Glad to hear you also think Parry’s alibi concerning Olivia Brine is both suspicious and weak.The statements provided by both Brine and her nephew Harold Denison look almost identical!! But there IS one slightly odd thing….only Olivia Brine makes any mention of Phylis Plant being at Knoclaid Road that evening.Neither Denison nor Parry himself refer to her in their statements.Might not mean anything, but surely they’d have mentioned it if she spent a reasonable amount of time there? And the fact that no time is given for her arrival or departure strikes me as strange.Did she just knock at the front door, but not actually go in? And if so, why? Could she have called to secretly meet with Parry when he left? I also think it’s possible that Parry may have been involved in some kind of clandestine relationship with Brine….after all, she was only 37 at the time, and her husband was away at sea.I noticed when reading the statements that Olivia Brine says that Parry may have called at her house as early as 5pm, and at that time, only Brine and her daughter were there.Could Parry have called hoping Brine’s daughter WOULDN’T be there? I just think it’s very unusual for a 22 year old man to finish work and rather than go home for his tea, decides to call at the house of a 37 year old woman who’s husband just so happens to be away at sea!! Especially as he said himself in his statement that he’d “finished business”, suggesting that Olivia Brine probably wasn’t one of his Standard Life clients.It’s also interesting to note that the statements provided by Brine and Denison were both made a couple of days AFTER Parry had provided his. Could he have had the chance to tell them both what to say to the police, for whatever reason? He certainly had ample time to do such a thing. And his failure to tell both Lilly Lloyd AND her mother that he’d spent at least three hours at Knoclaid Road definitely suggests there was something he didn’t want either of them to know.Sorry for the long post, and for a lot of pure speculation on my part, but Parry’s alibis for both the night of the murder, and also the phone call the night before, are just SO fragile!!

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