Cuddly nickname for murder accused

HE is being called a murderer today by the prosecution, but Simon Hall's friends have revealed his much less sinister nickname – Teddy.Known for his fashion flair and love of designer labels, Hall gained the nickname from his passion for the Teddy Smith range of clothes.

By Tracey Sparling

THE man accused of the murdering a Suffolk pensioner during a bungled burglary had a taste for expensive fashion labels, a court heard.

His love of designer labels gained Simon Hall the nickname of 'Teddy' because of his passion for the Teddy Smith range of clothes.

His ex-girlfriend Joanne Blowers told the jury at Norwich Crown Court yesterday that she spent £500 on clothes for him during their 18-month relationship which ended on September 2001.

That was three months before Joan Albert was found dead in her Boydlands home at Capel St Mary.

Hall, 25, of Hill House Road, Ipswich, denies murder.

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Miss Blowers, who lived in Norwich Road, Ipswich with Hall, said she met Mrs Albert when dropping into the pensioner's home, with Hall and his mum Lynn to do her an errand.

She said he was known for his smart appearance, wearing a suit to work at Felixstowe Docks, and added: "He was fashionable and always looked smart.

"He always had new clothes from expensive shops. They called him 'Teddy' and he told me that it was because he liked Teddy Smith clothes. I bought him shirts, trousers and jeans. It was a lot of money, about £500, and his mum brought him clothes too."

Both worked at the Old Rep in Tower Street, Ipswich, and five staff told the jury they remembered the night of December 15 2001, because their friend Jamie Barker got drunk and stripped on the main bar to celebrate his 21st birthday.

The court heard Old Rep staff regularly drifted into Liquid nightclub free after the Old Rep closed, and they returned to the bar for a lock-in that night.

Former Old Rep worker Paula McFadden said she definitely remembered Hall returning to the Old Rep with Mr Barker.

But she said she could not be 100 per cent sure if the night she recalled was December 15.

She also noticed blood on Mr Barker's bare chest and thought he'd mentioned a fight in the club.

Woolpack chef Justin Hurn, 21, told the court that 'Teddy' had attended the early part of a karaoke night in the Tuddenham Road pub on December 15.

Kate Whittaker of Capel St Mary said she had known Hall since the age of five, and said 'hello' to him in the Wooolpack that night. She said he had been wearing a black leather jacket, Kickers shoes, a pale top and dark trousers.

Electrical engineer Gareth Hampson , the DJs assistant, lip read in court because he is profoundly deaf.

He said he drove with Hall to the Woolpack, in Hall's black Audi then left the keys behind the bar before walking to the Old Rep, then on to Liquid.

He left Hall in the nightclub, and said Hall had been wearing what looked like dark jeans, and a tight dark jumper possibly with the number 4 on it.

The trial, which is expected to last three weeks, continues today .

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