Top barrister joins convicted murderer's legal team

SIMON Hall's bid to overturn his conviction for murdering pensioner Joan Albert has received another boost, his wife said last night.

Colin Adwent

SIMON Hall's bid to overturn his conviction for murdering pensioner Joan Albert has received another boost, his wife said last night.

Michael Mansfield QC, one of Britain's most high-profile barristers, is due to represent the 32-year-old after he was granted legal aid yesterday.

It is another fillip for Hall after his case was referred to the Court of Appeal by the Criminal Cases Review Commission last month. The CCRC said its' findings after a review of the evidence raised a real possibility the former East Bergholt High School pupil's murder conviction could be quashed.


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Hall, formerly of Hill House Road, Ipswich, was found guilty of killing Mrs Albert at her Boydlands home in Capel St Mary, after a trial at Norwich Crown Court in February 2003 .

The 79-year-old was stabbed to death in December 2001. Hall has always maintained his innocence.

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Mr Mansfield has represented defendants in criminal trials, appeals and inquiries in some of the most controversial legal cases the country has seen.

He is best known for representing Barry George, who was accused of killing TV presenter Jill Dando, and the family of Stephen Lawrence in a private prosecution for murder and a public inquiry.

He also represented the families of victims at the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, the Birmingham Six - who were released nearly sixteen years after being wrongly convicted, and Angela Cannings, the so-called cot death mother.

Hall's wife Stephanie is delighted Mr Mansfield will join Campbell Malone, the solicitor who has been fighting for her husband's release for many years.

She said: "I just think it is awesome. You can't ask for a better team of people. Campbell Malone is one of the best solicitors in this country for miscarriages of justice and I think Michael Mansfield's name says it all."

The CCRC referral of the case centres on fresh forensic analysis of fibre samples taken from the crime scene and other locations during the original police investigation.

A witness statement relating to another burglary in Capel St Mary on the night Mrs Albert was murdered, which was not used in evidence during Hall's trial, is also said to be relevant to Hall's assertion that he was not the killer.

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