At 12.39 a.m. on FEBRUARY 15th, 1970, an alarm sounded at Pudsey police station indicating a break-in at the towns Sunny Bank Mills. On going to the scene, Inspector Barry Taylor, 30, was confronted by a gunman who shot him. And as the officer lay dying, a search of the factory revealed the body of the night-watchman, 31-year-old Ian Riley.
An attempt had been made to blow a safe, and when the police checked on Yorkshires known safebreakers the investigation focused on Neil Adamson, 31, who had a 14-year criminal record. His last prison sentence had been six years for armed robbery, and he had been released in 1968.
At Leeds Assizes in May 1970 Adamson pleaded guilty to both murders. Sentencing him to life imprisonment, the judge told him that he would recommend a minimum of 30 years, adding, And I do not mean by that to give you any reason for hoping that after thirty years you will be released. He died in prison in 2000.