Saturday, 22 May 2010

Wife’s outrage over wait for murder appeal

Thursday, 20 May, 2010
12:00 PM

CAPEL ST MARY: Outraged by the wait for the date of her husband’s appeal against his murder conviction, Simon’s Hall’s wife has written to the new Home Secretary.

Hall, 32, formerly of Hill House Road, Ipswich, was given a life sentence for stabbing to death 79-year-old Joan Albert at her home in Boydlands, Capel St Mary, on December 16, 2001.

However, Hall has always strenuously denied killing the pensioner.

In October last year the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) decided to refer Hall’s conviction to the Court of Appeal as it found new forensic evidence.

Despite a directions hearing in March this year, Hall and those fighting for his freedom are still awaiting a date for the appeal.

Now his wife Stephanie has sent a letter to Home Secretary Teresa May and the new Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor Ken Clarke, along with Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

The letter briefly outlines the background to Hall’s case.

Mrs Hall, who lives in Ipswich, then comments: “Simon has served nearly eight years in prison for another man’s crime and has had to wait for over seven months, and is still waiting for a date for his appeal to be heard. It is absolutely outrageous that a public body has been allowed to stall and avoid accountability. I am therefore contacting you to ask that this matter be looked into at the earliest possible opportunity.”

The CCRC has said it believes its findings cast doubt on whether Hall is guilty of the murder.

They centre partly on fresh forensic analysis of fibre samples taken from the crime scene and other locations during the original police investigation.

There is also said to have been significant evidence relating to another burglary in Capel St Mary on the same night as Mrs Albert was murdered.

At the time it announced it was referring Hall’s case for appeal, a spokesman for the CCRC said: “The commission has decided to refer the case to the Court of Appeal because it believes that new forensic evidence is capable of undermining key forensic evidence presented at the trial and therefore raises the real possibility that the court would quash the murder conviction.”

Hall was convicted at Norwich Crown Court in February, 2003. He appealed against his conviction, but it was dismissed in April 2004.

Hall then applied to the CCRC for a review in June 2005.

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