Clifford Fenton was both bricklayer Roy Johnson's labourer and his lodger. Johnson had a history of abuse towards his wife, Lynn but Fenton had been given both a job and a roof over his head by him and his loyalty was therefore to Johnson. When in January 1975 Lynn cracked under the pressure and started to try and get help from Councillor Len Fairclough, Johnson followed his wife to Coronation Street and in a violent altercation killed her in No.9. He confessed his crime to Fenton and the young man backed up his alibi - that they were both at home at the time of the murder watching television and he equally disproved Len's alibi that he had called at Johnson's home at the same time - Fenton said that he'd never been there.

Det. Chief Insp. Patterson believed Len to be guilty until the post mortem on Lynn revealed much older bruises than the ones inflicted at the time of her death. Johnson confessed to Patterson that he used to give his wife the "back of his hand" on occasion but in a separate interview room Fenton told Patterson that he never saw Johnson use violence. This discrepancy was enough for Patterson to probe further and Fenton cracked under the pressure. Johnson was charged with his wife's murder and Len was set free.