Michael Hart was a desperate, violent man. He had a long record of brutal crime. He was under investigation in Britain for more than 40 robberies and he was wanted in Paris on an attempted murder charge. Currently he was on remand for a jewel robbery – but despite all this magistrates had given him bail.

On NOVEMBER 10th, 1975, Hart, who should have been under lock and key, put on a wig and disguise and shoved a sawn-off shotgun under his raincoat. His target for the day was the branch of Barclays Bank in Upper Ham Road, Richmond.

When he marched through the door and pointed the gun at bank clerk Angela Wooliscroft, 20, of Chessington, Surrey, she did what he told her to do, handing over £2,500 in cash. As he scooped up the money Hart squeezed the trigger of the gun. The shot shattered the toughened glass screen between them and Angela fell, mortally wounded.

Hart wasn’t caught for nearly two weeks and only then when he tried to break into a Basingstoke garage. And when he was arrested it still took four days of interviews before he confessed to killing Angela Wooliscroft.

“I knew I hit the girl because she screamed,” he said. “I only found out she was dead when I heard about it on the TV.”

At the Old Bailey on November 3rd, 1977, he retracted that confession and despite a mountain of forensic evidence against him refused to admit he had shot Angela in cold blood.

He convinced one member of the jury, but not the other 11. He was sent to prison for life, with a recommendation that he should serve a minimum of 25 years.