New act appeal tactic for Simon Hall

SIMON Hall's campaign to quash his conviction for the murder of Capel St Mary pensioner Joan Albert has led him to turn to the Freedom of Information Act for help.

SIMON Hall's campaign to quash his conviction for the murder of Capel St Mary pensioner Joan Albert has led him to turn to the Freedom of Information Act for help.

The 27-year-old is using the new act, which became law this year, to ask Suffolk Constabulary for any details about the case his legal team have not had access to.

He and his supporters believe there are files in existence, which might be crucial in Hall being given leave to appeal.

Hall's mother, Lynne, who lives only a short distance from the home in Boydlands where 79-year-old Mrs Albert's body was found, said: "We have approached police to ask for any files concerning Simon and his case that have not been handed over to us."

Mrs Hall said they are requesting various documents including any which may have been put together after her son's trial at February 2003 at Norwich Crown Court.

Hall himself has written to police asking for them for the documentation that could include information about forensics, such as finger prints.

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In addition his supporters and legal team are interested in notes concerning pathologist Michael Heath who gave evidence at the trial. Mr Heath is due to face a disciplinary panel later this year over alleged errors in his work.

Meanwhile Mrs Hall said her son's family and closest friends have never doubted Hall's claims of innocence as they fight to get him an appeal before a judge at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

She said: "We are doing the sentence with him. It is horrible to think your son is in prison. The whole case has been frustrating.

"I couldn't still be living in the same village where all this happened, if I was not convinced my son was innocent."

Lisa Miller, a spokeswoman for Suffolk Constabulary, said the Data Protection Act prevented the force commenting on any possible requests for files involved in Hall's case.

Mrs Albert's body was discovered by a neighbour in the hallway of her house on December 16, 2001.

The OAP had sustained stab wounds inflicted from a knife the killer found in her home.

Hall, of Hill House Road, Ipswich, was arrested and charged with her murder, but he and his supporters have always maintained there is doubt over the time of Mrs Albert's death.

The former East Bergholt High and Chantry High School pupil is currently serving life imprisonment.

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