Expert to review evidence in murder case

A TOP forensic expert is set to carry out a series of experiments re-examining scientific evidence in the case of convicted murderer Simon Hall.Dr Peter Bull, a forensic expert based at Oxford University, will be conducting a range of controlled experiments over the next few months using original evidence from the case.

By Danielle Nuttall

A TOP forensic expert is set to carry out a series of experiments re-examining scientific evidence in the case of convicted murderer Simon Hall.

Dr Peter Bull, a forensic expert based at Oxford University, will be conducting a range of controlled experiments over the next few months using original evidence from the case.

The university lecturer will concentrate his research on small particles recovered during the investigation into pensioner Joan Albert's death including glass, fibres and paint.


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Hall, 27, formerly of Hill House Road, Ipswich, was found guilty of stabbing the Capel St Mary widow to death following a trial at Norwich Crown Court.

During the trial, the court heard how fingerprints and footprints found at the crime scene did not match Hall's.

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Instead, the prosecution's case centred on microscopic flock fibres found on Mrs Albert's body and in her home that were apparently indistinguishable from fibres discovered at Hall's home and in his Audi car.

The prosecution claimed Hall, who is well over six-feet tall, had broken into Mrs Albert's home through a 14-inch broken window with the intention of burglary.

However, Hall's supporters' question why no glass particles were ever found within the fibres obtained or during examinations of any property connected with Hall, if he had climbed through the window.

Dr Bull, who is also re-looking at the evidence in two other high profile cases, said: “I am not saying I can put up any great hope because I do not know.

“I am hoping in the summer to run a whole series of tests to check the theories once I have looked at the files.

“They (the police) have still got the window so it would be interesting to look at that.

“Also, the movement and presence of small particles - glass, fibres, paint and anything else that might be around.

“The work we are going to do will take a few weeks and I will be doing that during the course of the summer.”

Dr Bull said he was hoping to soon gain access to the prosecution's files and evidence connected to Hall's case in order to carry out “pertinent” experiments.

The forensic expert said he had no criticism of the judge, police or forensic experts in the case and said any appeal that came as a result of his work would be based on evidence that had not been known at the time.

“The experiments undertaken could provide evidence or may in fact show there is no evidence. It could work for an appeal or against,” he added.

Hall, a former East Bergholt High School pupil who worked in Colchester, was found guilty of murdering 79-year-old Mrs Albert at her home in Boydlands, Capel, after a 12-day trial in February 2003.

The elderly widow was discovered dead by a neighbour in the hallway of her home on December 16, 2001. She had suffered stab wounds inflicted by a knife taken from the house.

Hall has sought leave to appeal twice since his conviction, however both requests have failed.

His solicitors have now forwarded his case to the Criminal Cases Review Commission and his family hopes an appeal will be heard in the future.

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