Killer must serve 12 years
A SUFFOLK man convicted of murder must serve more than 12 years of his life sentence before being considered eligible for parole, a judge has ruled.A brief hearing took place at Cambridge Crown Court yesterday before High Court judge Mrs Justice Rafferty to set the minimum tariff Simon Hall must serve.
By Danielle Nuttall
A SUFFOLK man convicted of murder must serve more than 12 years of his life sentence before being considered eligible for parole, a judge has ruled.
A brief hearing took place at Cambridge Crown Court yesterday before High Court judge Mrs Justice Rafferty to set the minimum tariff Simon Hall must serve.
Hall, formerly of Hill House Road, Ipswich, and who worked in Colchester, was found guilty by a jury of the murder of Capel St Mary pensioner Joan Albert.
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Mrs Albert was discovered dead by a neighbour in the hallway of her home in Boydlands, Capel, on December 16, 2001. She had suffered stab wounds inflicted by a knife taken from the house.
During yesterday's hearing Mrs Justice Rafferty, who sat during Hall's original trial at Norwich Crown Court in February 2003, decided Hall must serve at least 12 years, three months and 16 days of his life sentence.
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After this point Hall will be eligible for parole, however it is widely believed prisoners who continue to protest their innocence can face a longer period in jail.
Glynis Dzundza, Mrs Albert's niece, said last nightthe family were disappointed with the tariff and that it did not reflect the police work involved in the case.
“At what price can you put on our aunt's life? The public forget but our family never can and never will,” she said.
“We are fortunate in as much as the person responsible was caught and convicted as some people never know and the crime goes unsolved.
“But when someone receives a life sentence it doesn't always mean much. The police work very hard and their efforts do not always seem to be backed up when it comes to sentencing.
“The tariff today reflects this and is disappointing but however long he had been given, it would never have been enough and our sentence continues.”
However Hall's family spokeswoman Stephanie Bon, who runs a campaign to help overturn his conviction, said the fight would continue to prove Hall's innocence.
“We have obviously been expecting this news for a while and as unpleasant as this is to hear, the bottom line is that Simon is innocent,” she said.
“Campbell Malone, our lawyer, is actively working together with our experts and the rest of the team and we are confident that we will bring Simon home, and prove his innocence in the not too distant future.”
Hall has always maintained his innocence and his case is presently being reviewed by the Criminal Cases Review Commission to determine whether there are grounds for appeal against conviction.