Ipswich: Simon Hall murder appeal begins in London

CAPEL ST MARY: Simon Hall’s appeal against his conviction for the murder of Capel St Mary pensioner Joan Albert has started today.

The 33-year-old has always denied stabbing the 79-year-old to death at her home in Boydlands on December 16, 2001. However, he was given a life sentence after being convicted at Norwich Crown Court in February 2003.

Hall’s appeal is expected to last three days at the Royal Courts of Justice in London with family, friends and other supporters in attendance.

Hall is not due to testify during the appeal, but is present in the court.

Hall is to be represented by high-profile barrister Michael Mansfield QC.

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Mr Mansfield said the case revolves around fibres at the murder scene and properties associated with Simon Hall which were indistinguishable. They say Hall’s case is that they were not indistinguishable.

Mr Mansfield added: “At trial the position was this, there would be no trial let along a conviction had there not been the presence of fibres that could be linked. This is a case that entirely depends on the reliability of the expertise of those who examined the fibres. At trial there was one main expert who gave evidence for the Crown.”

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Former detective Roy Lambert who led the case back in 2000 was also present in court.

Among the other supporters expected to be at the court for his appeal are Michelle Diskin, sister of Barry George, whose conviction for killing TV star Jill Dando was overturned, and several other families and victims involved in the organisation Miscarriages of Justice.

It is understood Hall, formerly of Hill House Road, Ipswich, has been transferred from HMP Kingston in Portsmouth, to Pentonville prison while the matter is being heard.

Hall’s wife Stephanie, who has had private investigators looking into her husband’s case, said ahead of the case: “We are very positive. It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster, but Simon is strong as an ox.

“The first few years of his sentence were hard, but he’s grown in confidence.

“Should the appeal be successful Simon will be pushing Suffolk Police to re-open the murder inquiry and to catch the real killer.”

Hall’s first appeal against his conviction in April 2004 was dismissed.

He then applied to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) for a review in June 2005.

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