Simon Hall to get new appeal over murder

RELATIVES of Simon Hall today spoke of their delight after hearing he would get another chance to overturn his murder conviction.

RELATIVES of Simon Hall today spoke of their delight after hearing there was a “real possibility” his murder conviction would overturned.

The 31-year-old from Ipswich was given a life sentence for killing 79-year-old Capel St Mary resident Joan Albert at her home in Boydlands eight years ago.

Today the Criminal Cases Review Commission decided to refer Hall's conviction for killing Mrs Albert back to the Court of Appeal as it had new forensic evidence.

The commission (CCRC) believes its findings cast doubt on whether Hall, formerly of Hill House Road, off Back Hamlet, is guilty of the murder.

After hearing the news, Hall's father Philip, who lives in Capel St Mary with Hall's mother Lynne, said he was overwhelmed: “We are delighted, but at the moment I am somewhere between elation and shock. We knew the commission were being very, very thorough and would not expect it to be anything less.

“This is evidence to us, yet again, that Simon is where he should not be.”

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The referral of the case centres on fresh forensic analysis of fibre samples taken from the crime scene and other locations during the original police investigation.

A spokesman for the CCRC said: “The commission has decided to refer the case to the Court of Appeal because it believes that new forensic evidence is capable of undermining key forensic evidence presented at the trial and therefore raises the real possibility that the court would quash the murder conviction.

“The referral by the Criminal Cases Review Commission means that the Court of Appeal will now hear a fresh appeal against Mr Hall's murder conviction and make a decision on whether to quash or uphold the conviction.”

The family of Mrs Albert, who was murdered on December 16, 2001, said the referral will prolong the agony of their loss.

Mrs Albert's niece Glynis Dzundza, of Ipswich, said: “We have just been caught up in this nightmare. It just never goes away. It's there for us the whole time and we live it every day.”

Hall was found guilty after a trial at Norwich Crown Court in February 2003.

However, he has always maintained his innocence during a high-profile campaign by himself and relatives.

Hall appealed against his conviction, but the appeal was dismissed in April 2004. He then applied to the CCRC for a review of his conviction in June 2005.

The Criminal Cases Review Commission is an independent body set up under the Criminal Appeal Act 1995.

It is responsible for reviewing suspected and alleged miscarriages of criminal justice in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

It is based in Birmingham and is funded by the Ministry of Justice.