Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 9°C

Search

Capel St Mary: A leading psychologist has revealed Simon Hall’s mental health had deteriorated in the year before his death at Wayland Prison on Sunday

13:25 25 February 2014

Simon Hall

Simon Hall

Archant

A leading criminal psychologist has given an insight into the likely state of Simon Hall’s frayed mind before his death in prison.

Simon HallSimon Hall

Hall’s mental health was said to have deteriorated over the past year, particularly since he confessed last August to killing 79-year-old Joan Albert at her home in Capel St Mary.

Hall was found dead in his cell at Wayland prison, near Thetford, on Sunday. Police have said they are not treating his death as suspicious.

The 36-year-old denied murdering Mrs Albert for 11 years before admitting his guilt while he was at Hollesley Bay open prison, near Woodbridge.

Mike Berry, a forensic psychologist who has worked with offenders in prisons and with the legal profession, said Hall’s confession was likely to have an impact on his fragile psyche.

Mr Berry said: “The reason people often go into denial is because they are horrified by the nature of the offence they have committed.

“There is research which suggests some murderers often suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder because they are horrified by what they have done. Most murderers often know their victims, so you can understand that shock.

“What you have to ask is do these guys lie to protect (the feelings of) somebody who is important to them? Is he protecting a loved one?

“He could have been fighting the case because that was one way of keeping sane in an insane world, as it is a way of marking time until they get out. One thing you often find is they lie for so long they actually believe the stories they have made up.

“He could have become very depressed. I would think that having lied for so long, to then face up to the truth you would more than likely end up being very depressed and anxious. Anxious about deceiving people, anxious about the way you are perceived by other prisoners.

“After he turns around and says ‘I have done it’ they are going to be annoyed because they believed in him and that’s going to cause some anger, particularly if he’s killed a 79-year-old. Once the system has won you can feel very depressed by the whole process.”

Mr Berry believes Hall would have felt subject to massive internal and external pressures.

“He was going to feel very traumatised and extremely stressed by the whole thing.”

Following Hall’s death his wife Stephanie said she was heartbroken and believed he had previously made attempts on his life because he could not live with what he had done.

The Independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will is conducting an investigation into Hall’s death.

Mrs Albert, a widow, was found in the hallway of her home on December 16, 2001. She had been stabbed five times. Hall was convicted of her murder in February 2003.

He was given a life sentence with a minimum tariff of 15 years. He had always denied killing her, mounting a high-profile campaign to get his conviction quashed, until his confession last year.

2 comments

  • So much for freedom of speech as usual! Neither of my comments made it through even though they had no profanity or libellous content. Why have a comments box when they are so heavily vetted and then disallowed??? What comments was the Star expecting in a case like this???

    Report this comment

    MZH

    Wednesday, February 26, 2014

  • i see ALL comments have been removed from the other report with his wife why?

    Report this comment

    pandy

    Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

A silhouette shot of 'Sarah', who has spoken about her experience with domestic abuse. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

A domestic violence survivor from Suffolk has told how family and friends intervened to help her flee a 13-year abusive relationship that left her “completely beaten”.

Jeremy Head, who took his own life at mental health unit Wedgwood House, in Bury St Edmunds, in 2014. Picture: Ashtons Legal

The sister of a 49-year-old man who was found hanged at a mental health unit in Suffolk has said she begged for help in the weeks leading up to his death.

Lauren Sherwood and Jaimin Patel (centre, arms linked) at Glemhall Hall where they met with suppliers of the St Elizabeth Hospice win a wedding competition. Picture: Echo Alfa

A Colchester couple who won St Elizabeth Hospice’s wedding giveaway last year have pledged their commitment to raising thousands of pounds for the cause in return for their special day at Glemham Hall.

President Vladimir Putin Dmitry Astakhov/ Sputnik, Government Press Service Pool photo via AP

Russian president Vladamir Putin should be offered a state visit, a Suffolk MP has said.

Glasses of fizz

Is a new style of bubbly about to take the supermarket aisles by storm with its mix of two favourite tipples?

Chaos on the trains at London Liverpool Street. Picture: Jon Carney

Two points failures at London Liverpool Street which saw thousands of rail passengers heading towards Ipswich delayed this evening have been fixed.

Broke Hall Community Primary School, Ipswich, had a Tractors in School visit - farmer John Taylor with Kara Bassil. Picture: NIGEL BROWN

Hundreds of youngsters will get close-up to one of the most impressive and hi-tech working vehicles this week – as they take part in a growing education programme.

Silhouette of a domestic abuse victim. Picture: Andy Abbott

A project pledging to give extra support to domestic abuse victims in Suffolk has been awarded hundreds of thousands of pounds in government funding.

Suffolk Constabulary's headquarters in Martlesham Heath, where the 999 control room is based.   Picture: SU ANDERSON

Police in Suffolk have vowed to investigate why the force has the worst rate of abandoned 999 calls in the country.

Traffic on the Orwell Bridge. Picture: Lucy Taylor

A car has broken down in the outside lane which is causing problems for drivers heading towards Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24