PASSINGS : Sir Melford Stevenson; Noted British Barrister

Sir Melford Stevenson, 85, a judge who once was the attorney for the last woman to be hanged in Britain. Stevenson became a barrister in 1925 and was a judge from 1957 to 1979, when he retired. As an attorney his best-known client was Ruth Ellis, 28, who was hanged in 1955 for shooting David Blakely, the lover who rejected her. National outrage at the execution led to the outlawing of hanging in 1964 and the abolition of capital punishment in 1969. Stevenson also represented the British government in Kenya at nationalist leader Jomo Kenyatta’s unsuccessful appeal in 1954 of his conviction for involvement in Mau Mau activities. In London on Saturday.