HE looked a harmless old soul, dispensing tea and a cheery word. The doddery pensioner thrived on his unofficial role in Winchester Prison, his disarming manner helping to make the nervy first-timer feel a little more at ease in the austere surroundings.

But behind the easygoing charm, Albert Goozee harboured a sinister secret - how more than 50 years ago he had become trapped in an adulterous affair with his middle-aged landlady.

A sordid affair that spiralled into a horrific double murder that shocked a nation - and was later made into a sensational film starring Julie Walters.

Goozee knifed to death 53-year-old Lydia Leakey and her 14-year-old daughter Norma at a popular New Forest picnic spot on a summer's afternoon in 1956.

The former serviceman and fitter's mate was sentenced to death but a few days before he was to step onto the scaffold, the Home Secretary announced his reprieve.

He had been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic and was detained in Broadmoor.

The tragedy unfolded when a motorist thought Goozee had been involved in a serious road accident after finding him slumped over the bonnet of a black Wolseley on the side of a desolate country lane near the former home of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

But there was no mystery, Goozee telling the shocked stranger two women had been murdered in nearby woodland. "There has been a fight," he confessed. "I've put the knife in."

Leaning on the car with blood oozing from his stomach, he pleaded: "You had better get me on my feet while I am still alive and I will show you where the others are."

He added: "It is my landlady and her daughter. They were carrying on in there and she stuck the knife in me. I went for them both and killed both of them."

When police arrived on the scene, Goozee told them: "There are two women in there.

You will never find them. Put me in a car, I will take you there."

Scouring a damp and muddy track leading into Bignell Wood, Minstead, they discovered the couple in a glade. Their bodies were carried to a Lyndhurst undertaker's van and driven to Southampton Mortuary, where they were formally identified by Mrs Leakey's husband, Thomas. The mother had died from a fractured skull and haemmorhage and shock from stab wounds and the girl had suffered a fatal stab to the heart.

As the ambulance was about to be driven away, Goozee asked PC Clark: "Did you find the knife in the car? It is a commando knife, a long one. It belongs to her son.

"I stuck it once into the daughter and twicein the mother, I think. The daughter caused it. She got all hysterical."

The heavily bloodstained weapon was in fact recovered from the Wolseley, and Goozee was detained under police guard at the Royal South Hants Hospital, Southampton.

Within two days, he was charged with indecently assaulting the teenager. Four days later when he was charged with two counts of murder.

On his appearance at Totton Magistrates' Court, he was asked if he had anything to say. He replied: "Only bail, sir."

Not surprisingly, it was refused. At a subsequent remand hearing, Goozee told one detective: "I have read about landladies and lodgers. I never thought it would happen to me. She knew I was seducing her daughter. What else could I do?"

More than 200 people attended the funeral of the victims, who were buried in a single grave at Poole Cemetery after a service conducted by the curate of St John's Church, Parkstone, where they lived.

Nearly six months passed before Goozee's trial began at Hampshire Assizes in Winchester. The prosecution was led by N R Fox Andrews, who elected to proceed on only one charge - that of the teenager's murder.

A jury of seven men and five women were to hear how Mrs Leakey's husband slept in a separate bedroom and was initially oblivious of the clandestine affair she had embarked upon with Goozee - 20 years her junior - sneaking into bed together at night.

One night Norma apparently caught her mother in bed with Goozee and then occasionally joined them.

In one statement, Goozee said he had lodged with the Leakeys for about two years but within two weeks, the landlady told him how lonely she was and that her husband treated her like a beast.

Goozee claimed he had tried to break away from the relationship by joining the Army but was blackmailed into returning because she threatened to take her daughter to the police to say he had been "playing about" with her.

Jurors heard of a tense atmosphere when Goozee, at the wheel of the Wolseley Mrs Leakey had bought for him, drove to the clearing in Minstead, where he chopped up wood with an axe, lit a fire and put the kettle on while mother and daughter went for a walk.

When they returned, Mrs Leakey persuaded Norma to go and find some bluebells while she poured out her heart to Goozee about her unhappiness when he was away.

Goozee originally pleaded manslaughter but in the witness box claimed that Mrs Leakey had wounded him and stabbed Norma when she tried to intervene. It was doomed to failure.

Within three-and-a-quarter hours the jury found him guilty. Goozee stood ashen-faced, his hands behind his back and surrounded by four dock officers as the judge, Mr Justice Havers, donned the black cap.

Four days before the proposed hanging - and despite a rejected appeal by Goozee - Home Secretary Rab Butler intervened and Goozee, a paranoid schizophrenic, was sent to Broadmoor.

In subsequent years Goozee was jailed three more times for violent and sexual offences.

Relatives of the dead couple were outraged in 1997 when 20th Century Fox released Intimate Strangers, starring Ruperet Graves and Julie Walters, purportedly based on the true story of Albert Goozee.

The film portrayed him as an increasingly desperate young man caught in a love triangle between a mother and daughter.

Outraged pensioner Margaret Haywood condemned the film-makers for making a celebrity of the man who had slaughtered her mother and sister.