Family of murder victim arrive at court

JURORS were today due to be sworn in to try the man accused of stabbing Capel St Mary pensioner Joan Albert to death.The accused, Simon Hall, of Hill House Road, Ipswich, 25, was brought in a prison van from Chelmsford Prison and arrived shortly after 12 noon to face the charge of murder.

JURORS were today due to be sworn in to try the man accused of stabbing Capel St Mary pensioner Joan Albert to death.

The accused, Simon Hall, of Hill House Road, Ipswich, 25, was brought in a prison van from Chelmsford Prison and arrived shortly after 12 noon to face the charge of murder.

The body of 79-year-old widow Mrs Albert was discovered with stab wounds in her Boydlands home on December 16, 2001, after she failed to answer a weekly phone call from friends who checked on her well being.

Today the closest members of Mrs Albert's family gathered at Norwich Crown Court ready to hear the start of the murder trial.

Her nephews Trevor Cousins, of Newton, and Michael Cousins arrived with her nieces Lavinia Broome, from Debenham – one of the last people to talk to Mrs Albert before she was killed – and Glenys Dzundza.

Mrs Albert married her husband Cyril later in life and he died in the early 1990s, with the couple having no children.

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Today's case was due to be heard by Mrs Justice Rafferty with Graham Parkins prosecuting.

The investigation into Mrs Albert's death, codenamed Operation Magdala, is headed by Detective Superintendent Roy Lambert.

More than 1,000 statements were taken by police who visited 750 houses in the village. They also posted more than 700 letters to try and provoke vital information from people.

Even passengers on a late night bus running from Ipswich to Colchester were urged to get in touch in case they had noticed anything as they passed through the village.

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