Crucial stage for murder appeal campaign

CAMPAIGNERS battling for an appeal into the murder conviction of Simon Hall today believe they have reached a crucial watershed in their fight.A petition urging a review of the case now has 1,000 signatures and is to be presented to Ipswich MP Chris Mole, who pledged his support to the campaign last year, in a bid for him to lobby the authorities.

CAMPAIGNERS battling for an appeal into the murder conviction of Simon Hall today believe they have reached a crucial watershed in their fight.

A petition urging a review of the case now has 1,000 signatures and is to be presented to Ipswich MP Chris Mole, who pledged his support to the campaign last year, in a bid for him to lobby the authorities.

A spokesman for Mr Mole confirmed: “Chris Mole plans to use the petition to raise the issue with the relevant authorities.”

Hall was convicted of the murder of Capel St Mary pensioner Joan Albert in 2003 and has always protested his innocence.

Friends of the 28-year-old believe the conviction is flawed and have been working tirelessly in their campaign for an appeal.

Stephanie Bon, who set up the Justice 4 Simon website said signatories included Mr Mole, Colchester MP Bob Russell and Great Yarmouth MP Tony Wright.

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She said: “We never thought we would get this much support. When I started the website I didn't think it would get this far at all. It started to show Simon he wasn't forgotten.

“The campaign has become what it has today because we have worked every day to make people aware of the situation.”

Miss Bon said family and friends had been strengthened by the support from the public, particularly in Capel St Mary.

She added: “The support in Capel is quite significant. Simon's mum has been going around the village canvassing basically.

“A lot of signatures have come from Capel and in a small village it means a lot.

“I think sometimes families in this situation move away but that was never an option. There is nothing for them to hide because Simon is innocent.”

Miss Bon said progress was being made in the case behind the scenes but that it was now a waiting game.

Hall's campaigners wrote to 500 MPs as well as Tony Blair and the Queen asking for support.

Mrs Albert was discovered dead by a neighbour in the hallway of her home in Boydlands, on December 16, 2001.

The elderly widow had suffered stab wounds inflicted by a knife taken from the house.

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