Policeman denies posting web message

A POLICE officer has denied he posted a message on a website set up to help free a Suffolk man convicted of murder, it has emerged.Suffolk Constabulary launched an investigation in August after an email message of support purporting to be from a serving police officer was posted on a website campaigning for the release of Simon Hall.

A POLICE officer has denied he posted a message on a website set up to help free a Suffolk man convicted of murder, it has emerged.

Suffolk Constabulary launched an investigation in August after an email message of support purporting to be from a serving police officer was posted on a website campaigning for the release of Simon Hall.

The force said last night that no formal disciplinary action would be taken against the officer - and it revealed that another person had been identified as being behind the message.

A spokesman for Suffolk police said: “A thorough investigation into this matter was carried out by Suffolk Constabulary's Professional Standards Unit.

“The officer concerned maintained that he was not responsible for the entry and, following the completion of the investigation, it has been decided that he will face no formal disciplinary action.

“The investigation did identify an individual responsible for the entry and a file was passed to the independent Crown Prosecution Service for consideration.

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“The CPS has now recommended that the police take no action against this individual.”

Hall, 27, formerly of Hill House Road, Ipswich, and who worked in Colchester, was found guilty of the murder of Capel St Mary pensioner Joan Albert at her home following a 12-day trial in February 2003.

Hall has always maintained his innocence and has sought leave to appeal on two occasions.

His case is currently with the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

The alleged email appeared on a website, set up by Hall's family and friends to raise awareness of his case, in August.

It referred to the case of Suffolk police officer Michael Cheong, who was recently found guilty of the manslaughter of Brian Spencer in Guyana 23 years ago.

It said: “His trial started in July and finished the other day. The verdict: guilty. We're all shocked and devastated.”

And in a comment directed at the Halls it added: “Our thoughts and prayers go to you and your family. I know the injustice of it all. Shamefully I am also a police officer in Suffolk. Why is this happening?”

Stephanie Bon, manager of the campaign to free Hall and spokeswoman for his family, said last night: “Any support we receive for Simon has to be genuine and if this has proven that the individual was not the person who wrote the message in question then we will remove it from our site.

“The key issue for us is that it shows that we didn't invent this and our integrity remains perfect, whoever the individual was it wasn't made up by us to boost our campaign and it is all that matters.”

Hall's family has recently attracted the support of a second MP in their fight to get his case re-opened.

Colchester MP Bob Russell joined Ipswich MP Chris Mole in agreeing to highlight the issue further.

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