Capel St Mary: Police investigation team “vindicated” by Simon Hall’s confession
The former detective who lead the investigation into the murder of Joan Albert said he feels “vindicated” by Simon Hall’s confession.
Former Detective Superintendent Roy Lambert has today spoken of the “difficult” investigation surrounding the brutal stabbing of Mrs Albert in Capel St Mary in December 2001.
He said there were very few lines of inquiry and very few clues.
“It took us several months to identify Simon Hall because of the limited amount of evidence,” he added.
“He was eventually caught with regards to fibres that were found at his home and in his car. They were linked directly to the murder scene and Joan Albert herself.
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“There were also discrepancies in his alibi in terms of what time he got home.”
Hall stood trial at Norwich Crown Court and in February 2003 he was unanimously convicted of murder by a jury and given life imprisonment.
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Mr Lambert believes Hall and his defence team used the legal system with their numerous appeals.
He said: “The case was undertaken and reviewed by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC).
“It was taken to the Court of Appeal and they found substantial evidence to convict him of the murder, but not content with that, they went back to the CCRC to take it on again.”
Mr Lambert said Hall involved specialists from across the country in his appeals which will have cost “thousands of pounds”.
He added: “We have been involved in this case for many, many years.
“There’s been some pretty unprofessional things said about myself and the investigation and our integrity has been challenged.
“I feel vindicated that Simon Hall has finally admitted to the murder of Joan Albert, not only for the whole of the investigation team, but also the Crown Prosecution Service, the barristers and the forensic scientists because it was their expertise that was questioned in court.”
Mr Lambert said the numerous appeals made by Hall’s legal team had a tremendous effect on Mrs Albert’s family in that they have never been able to put the crime behind them.
“They have acted with great dignity, have always been discreet and hardly every spoke to the press,” he added.
“I do also feel sorry for Hall’s immediate family because this was a terrible thing for them to accept he was involved in.
“He convinced them he was innocent.”
Simon Hall support
A man convicted of murder who protested his innocence garnered support from all corners.
Simon Hall, 35, was found guilty of murdering 79-year-old Joan Albert in December 2001 after a 12-day trial at Norwich Crown Court in 2003.
During the past 12 years he has been supported by people including former Ipswich MP Chris Mole and Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell.
Hall was also offered a £50,000 bail surety by a campaign group to free another Suffolk man, Kevin Nunn, who was convicted of murdering Dawn Walker in November 2006.
The Hall’s campaign Justice4Simon became close with those behind the Justice 4 Kevin Nunn website.
In January 2011 Hall’s wife Stephanie put up a £10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the real killer of Mrs Albert.
Just two months later, it was doubled by those campaigning on his behalf to £20,000.