Many people ask me what is the difference between a barrister and a solicitor. Well, they are both lawyers but the main difference, in my view is that only one practicing solicitor has ever been executed.
Rather than turning on his own clients as some would expect, he attempted to poison another solicitor in a conveyancing matter which had turned sour. His first attempt was to invite the solicitor to tea; scones laced with arsenic. The other solicitor became ill, but survived. He then sent chocolates which caused a family member of the other solicitor to be sick, but she survived too. Numerous further invitations to tea followed which the other solicitor understandably avoided.
The solicitor’s undoing was that he was buying increasing quantities of arsenic from the local chemist who was the father in law of the other solicitor. The matter was reported to the police who during their enquiries dug up the solicitor’s deceased wife and found an unusually high concentration of arsenic in the body. He was charged with murder. He claimed he was devoted to his wife but police investigations revealed that although she was described in the local press as popular very few people attended her funeral. They concluded that she was domineering and often acted in a crazed manner but this was no lawful excuse for murder (husbands please note).
The solicitor continued to maintain that the arsenic was for his dandelions until his execution in 1922. Since then the Dandelion Defence has lost popularity especially among devoted husbands.