Capel St Mary: After 12 years Simon Hall finally confesses to murdering Joan Albert
The family of Joan Albert have waited for 12 long years for the closure they so desperately needed after the pensioner’s brutal murder in December 2001.
But today, they can move forward with their lives after Simon Hall finally admitted carrying out the killing.
The 35-year-old was convicted of stabbing to death the 79-year-old at her Capel St Mary home in 2001 but had always protested his innocence – until now.
Hall confessed murdering Mrs Albert to prison authorities – an admission which has come much to the relief to her family who can now move on after more than a decade of anguish.
In a statement issued to this newspaper, her relatives said: “Our family has been informed by Suffolk police that Simon Hall, convicted of murdering our aunt Joan Albert on December 16, 2001, at Capel St Mary, has finally admitted his guilt to prison authorities.
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“This comes after him protesting his innocence since being convicted in 2003 of this crime at Norwich Crown Court.
“Numerous appeals have been conducted throughout this time with the current application being withdrawn and subsequently the case has now been closed by the Criminal Cases Review Commission.
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“During the last 10 years the publicity surrounding the appeals has been very distressing for our family making moving on impossible but we would like to thank Suffolk police including Roy Lambert and his team, who carried out the original investigation, to present day officers who continue to support us.
“We are also grateful to those who have helped us throughout this difficult ordeal.”
Mrs Albert, who lived in Boydlands, was stabbed five times by Hall, formerly of Hill House Road, Ipswich. A lengthy police investigation involving a team of more than 20 detectives followed.
A Suffolk police spokesman said: “Over the 10 years since Hall’s conviction there have been a number of appeals and campaigns which have asserted that Simon Hall was wrongfully convicted of Mrs Albert’s murder.
“These events and the related uncertainty have undoubtedly exacerbated the suffering Mrs Albert’s family have had to endure since Joan was murdered. “We sincerely hope that Simon Hall’s admissions to having committed this brutal crime will in some way enable the family to move on with their lives.”
Hall submitted two applications to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) to consider his case after he claimed he was wrongly convicted.
His case was heard at the Court of Appeal in 2010 but his conviction was upheld.
A spokesman said the CCRC was informed Hall had confessed to Mrs Albert’s murder and contacted Hall asking if he wanted his current application withdrawn. His case has now been closed.
The spokesman added: “That Simon Hall has now confessed to the murder does not change the fact that this was a complicated case and that, while he continued to claim that he had not done it, there was uncertainty about aspects of the case that needed to be investigated in the light of these claims.
“This situation has now obviously changed that he has confessed to the murder of Mrs Albert and the Commission has closed its investigation.”