Accused brands murder trial a farce

ACCUSSED murderer Simon Hall labelled his trial "a farce" during an angry exchange with a prosecution lawyer.Hall told Graham Parkins, QC, he was "clutching at straws" as he was quizzed about fibres found in his room which matched some found in the home of murdered Capel St Mary pensioner Joan Albert.

By JON TUNNEY

jon.tunney@eveningstar.co.uk

ACCUSED murderer Simon Hall labeled his trial "a farce" during an angry exchange with a prosecution lawyer.

Hall told Graham Parkins, QC, he was "clutching at straws" as he was quizzed about fibres found in his room which matched some found in the home of murdered Capel St Mary pensioner Joan Albert.

The 25 year-old who denies murder, was clearly angry as he claimed the prosecution had no other evidence to offer in the Norwich Crown Court trial. Hall, of Hill House Road, Ipswich, is accused of stabbing 79 year-old Mrs Albert to death after she disturbed him breaking into her Boydlands home in the early hours of December 16, 2001.

Hall was living at his parents Capel St Mary address at the time of the murder and said the fibres must have got into his room via his mother, who enjoyed a close friendship with Mrs Albert. Mr Parkins dismissed Hall's claim that his mother's clothes were often stored in his wardrobe as a "concoction designed to deceive".

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But as his mother Lynn Hall took the stand she asserted time and again, under intense cross examination, that she kept not only her own clothes in the wardrobe but also left over stock from a women's fashion business she used to run.

When shown photos of an empty wardrobe in June last year Mrs Hall said she was going on holiday the next day and jackets normally stored there had been packed in a suitcase.

Mr Parkin's accused her of fabricating her story to try and clear her son of the murder, but she denied the suggestion.

Mrs Hall told the court that when police told her that fibres found at the crime scene matched those found at the bottom of her son's wardrobe and car, she knew there had to be an innocent explanation.

"I could not believe it. I never dreamt he would be accused of it," she said.

"When you have been put in this position and your son has been accused of this heinous crime you are just not aware. I honestly thought there must be an innocent answer to it."

Earlier the jury heard how Hall had driven into Ipswich to drink with friends the night before Mrs Albert was killed.

At some point during the night he handed his car keys to a friend to ensure he did not drive home drunk. But Hall's recollection of the times, was, by his own admission, not exact.

He described how he wandered around Ipswich Town Centre for anything up to two hours early on Sunday morning. Hall rang his friend at the Woolpack pub just before 4.40am to arrange coming to pick up the car, which had been left in the pub car park.

When the phone clicked onto its answering machine, Hall said he carried on walking in a bid to clear his head.

When pushed by Mr Parkins he admitted he could not be definite about timings, but guessed he finally picked up the car at about 6am, dropped off a friend in Myrtle Road and reached home at 6.28am – a time he verified by the microwave clock.

Mrs Hall told the courts she was awake when her son returned as she had been suffering from flu and found it difficult to sleep.

She said there was no blood on her son and he was acting normally, although a little tired.

When pushed to remember exactly what he was wearing by Mr Parkins she said it was a pair of dark blue Next Jeans she had bought him as an early Christmas present.

Mr Parkins, who had earlier alleged Hall stopped on his way out to buy a pair of black trousers from Tesco's, asked if she was sure her son was not more smartly dressed in trousers and shoes.

Mrs Hall said she was certain.

The trial continues.

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