Capel St Mary: DNA twist in Simon Hall’s bid to overturn murder conviction

SIMON Hall’s supporters have asked for DNA from a Norwich murder probe victim who they believe may be connected to the killing of Joan Albert.

Despite Hall’s 2003 conviction at Norwich Crown Court he has always denied murdering the 79-year-old in her home at Boydlands, Capel St Mary, in December 2001.

Now, in a new twist to Hall’s bid to overturn his conviction, the 33-year-old’s solicitors have approached Norfolk Constabulary asking for samples from Honorato Alberto Christovao.

The Portuguese national is understood to have lived in Capel St Mary at the time of Mrs Albert’s death.

Mr Christovao, 53, sustained fatal head injuries when he was attacked in Rose Lane car park on February 10. He died at Norfolk and Norwich Hospital three days later.

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A spokeswoman for Hall’s solicitors, Stephensons of Wigan, said: “I can confirm we have spoken to Norfolk Constabulary, requesting they retain Mr Christovao’s DNA.”

Hall’s appeal against conviction by turned down by the Court of Appeal in January. Last week the judges refused an application to send the matter to the Supreme Court for Hall to challenge their decision.

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Hall’s wife Stephanie, who lives in Ipswich, does not necessarily believe Mr Christovao murdered Mrs Albert. However, she thinks there may have been a connection with her death.

Mr Christovao lived in Barnfield, Capel St Mary between 1999 and 2002. He also lived in The Old Street and was known to frequent the village pub, The White Horse.

Mrs Hall said: “We have samples of blood and fingerprints from Mrs Albert’s property and the knife which killed her. We want to see if they are a match with Mr Christovao.

“We don’t necessarily think it is going to be fruitful, but we believe the samples belong to people he was with on the night of the murder.”

Last year Hall’s supporters put up a �10,000 reward for information in their quest to overturn his conviction and find who they believe is the real killer.

Hall was convicted on the basis of fibre evidence found at the murder scene and at his parents’ home in Snowcroft, where he was living at the time.

However, although expert analysis of the fibres was offered on his behalf at his appeal, three High Court judges said it did not disprove the original scientific evidence at trial.

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