Unemployed Irishman James O’Shaughnessy had already robbed the local tobacconist’s twice. Now he admitted stealing there a third time and, while doing so, threatening the shopkeeper, Mrs. Maud Miller, 75, with an iron bar. But, he said, she ran behind the counter and he fled empty-handed.

That same day Mrs. Miller was found unconscious in her Kilburn High

Road, north-west London, shop. She had been beaten over the head with an iron bar. She died five weeks later, on Tuesday, March 22nd, 1960.

Put on trial at the Old Bailey, O’Shaughnessy swore that he hadn’t touched Mrs. Miller. The judge ruled that there was no evidence that he had attacked the shopkeeper and he was acquitted. He pleaded guilty to robbing the shop and was sentenced to four years. UK Murder Stories from True Crime Library.

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