Friends ramp up efforts to overturn man’s ‘wrongful’ murder conviction

More than 80,000 people have signed a petition calling for Oliver Campbell's murder conviction to be

Oliver Campbell's friends are launching a Crowd Justice campaign to raise money for legal costs - Credit: Archant

The friends of a man with severe learning difficulties convicted of shooting dead a shopkeeper more than three decades ago are ramping up efforts to clear his name by fundraising for legal costs. 

Oliver Campbell, who goes by the name Ollie, will be joined by a group of friends outside Ipswich Town Hall today handing out leaflets to raise awareness of his case. 

The 51-year-old, who lives outside Ipswich, was convicted of shooting dead Baldev Hoondle in Hackney in 1991 and spent 11 years in prison. 

Mr Campbell’s case has been under review by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) for more than 18 months with no word about the outcome as of yet.   

Questions in the past have been raised around the evidence used in the case including that his learning disabilities from a brain injury sustained as a baby, meant that he was vulnerable to pressure by police when he confessed. 

Maggie Barradell, a friend of Mr Campbell’s, said the murder conviction has a massive impact on his life including not being able to travel abroad - something he is eager to do as his birth mother lives in America.  

Ollie Campbell at a birthday that was thrown for him by his friends

51-year-old Oliver is unable to travel abroad and has to report to his probation officer - Credit: Teresa Mackay

She said: “He’s restricted and he’s still on probation. He has to get permission to do various things.  

“He is treated like a murderer still and he’s not.” 

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She said although the legal team are working pro bono, whatever the outcome of the review, legal fees are desperately needed to overturn his murder conviction. 

Ms Barradell said: “Because it's giving Tuesday and because it’s the 31st anniversary of Ollie being wrongly arrested for murder he didn’t commit, we’re launching the crowd justice campaign.  

“Ollie has had an amazing legal team working for him, but it still costs so much behind the scenes. If we end up going to a judicial review that’s going to really cost and if we go to a court of appeal that’s not going to be cheap.” 

Mr Campbell’s friends hope to raise an initial £2,500 with an end goal of £10,000. 

The group will be at Ipswich Town Hall from 12pm until 1pm.