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Monson was tried at Edinburgh for the murder of Cecil Hambrough, a boy of seventeen, to whom he was acting as tutor. Hambrough was killed at Ardlamont, Argyllshire, by a shot from a sporting-gun while out shooting with Monson and a man named Scott.
Both declared that he had accidentally shot himself. Monson applied for payment of two life insurance policies value £20,000, which the boy had taken out before his death and assigned to him. Shortly afterwards Monson was arrested, but Scott, whose real name was Edward Sweeney, had disappeared. The verdict at Monson's trial was "Not Proven."