chapter  1
26 Pages

The hooded bandit

One Thursday at lunchtime, in a quiet Sydney suburb, the local branch of the National Australia Bank was robbed. Four male youths launched themselves into the bank wearing baseball caps, tracksuits and white gloves. One jumped over the counter and wrestled with a bank teller before the security screens were activated. Someone thought they saw a screwdriver being used to open drawers containing money. There was shouting and swearing and a woman lay on the floor, curled in a foetal position, ardently not looking at what was happening around her. The surveillance camera was triggered, capturing one photograph illustrating each second of the robbery. In the photographs, which are black and white and mostly grainy, we can see, frame by frame, one elderly man being pushed to the ground by a young bandit as another elderly man watches. This second man – each frame represents his hands moving incrementally, first to protect his head, then to break his fall – is pushed to the ground as his spectacles fall from his face.