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Singer who pointed gun at wife says ‘She forgives me’

(24 September 1963)

Newspaper photograph


GENE VINCENT, the American pop singer, spoke last night about the row which ended with him threatening his British wife, Margaret, with a Luger pistol.

He said: “Margaret and I have made it up. She has forgiven me for pointing the gun at her.

“Of course I never had any intention of shooting her. She knows that.”

Earlier the 28-year-old singer-real name Gene Vincent Craddock-limped on crutches from Marylebone Court arm-in-arm with his wife after he had been fined £20 for possessing two pistols and ammunition without a licence and being conditionally discharged for a year on a charge of assaulting her.

The pistols were confiscated.

Easy to discharge
Vincent’s left foot was injured in an accident when he was in the U.S.Navy. Three years ago he was badly injured in a car crash in Wiltshire in which another American singer, Eddie Cochran, was killed.

In court magistrate Mr. Walter Frampton told him: “You had five cartridges in the magazine of this Luger which is a pretty easy weapon to discharge.

“If you had lost your head and gone on to press the trigger, you might have found yourself facing a more serious charge.”

The couple, who have an eight-month-old daughter, Sherri Anne, quarrelled at their flat in Lansdowne-road, Notting Hill, after Vincent had returned from a concert engagement in Hamburg.

Mr. David Jacobs, Vincent’s counsel, told the court: “Unfortunately, when he was appearing on the Continent he had certain remarks made to him by other parties relating to his domestic affairs.

“As a result certain domestic difficulties arose, ‘which resulted in the conduct you have just heard of.’”

While his wife went to arrange furnishings for a new flat they plan to move into, Vincent said last night: “When I got home we had a row. I pointed the gun at her just to scare her.

“I’m a crack shot and I’ve won medals for shooting. But I don’t think I could shoot a person.

My collection
“I was going to add the guns to my firearms collection at my place in New Mexico. I have eight or nine guns there. Now Margaret and I just want to forget the whole affair.”

Police told the court that the loaded Luger was found under a mattress after Vincent’s wife had phoned them for help.

Vincent was said to have admitted to a policeman that he pointed the gun at his wife, adding: “Stupidly and ignorantly I pulled it just like any other jealous husband. Wouldn’t you?”

(quoted in full)