Simon Halls' family keeps up fight

FAMILY and friends attempting to overturn an Ipswich man's conviction for murdering a 79-year-old woman are stepping up their fight.

FAMILY and friends attempting to overturn an Ipswich man's conviction for murdering a 79-year-old woman are stepping up their fight.

Supporters of Simon Hall, who was convicted of stabbing Joan Albert to death on December 16, 2001, are planning a protest outside the Royal Courts of Justice next week.

Hall, 31, formerly of Hill House Road, has always denied killing the pensioner in her home in Boydlands, Capel St Mary. He is currently striving for an appeal to overturn his conviction.

His supporters will be handing out flyers in the theme of postcards addressed to Justice Secretary Jack Straw, when they gather outside the High Court in London on Friday, July 24.

On one side of the leaflet are the words “imagine your son, husband, brother or friend is serving a life sentence for murder…imagine he is…”. Next to the last three words is a picture of Hall with “innocent” emblazoned above it in capital letters.

The flipside explains, what his team believe to be, the flaws in the evidence that convicted him at Norwich Crown Court, where he was sentenced to life imprisonment in February 2003.

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The postcard also encourages people to lobby Mr Straw to get the investigation into Mrs Albert's death re-opened.

The Criminal Cases Review Commission began looking into Hall's case more than two years ago. However, as yet no decision has been forthcoming as to whether it feels Hall has grounds for appeal.

In a message on his website JusticeforSimon.co.uk, his lawyer Campbell Malone outlines why he believes the case should be looked at.

He said: “This is a worrying conviction based as it was, almost exclusively on fibre evidence. Simon Hall continues to maintain his innocence and his case is currently being considered by the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

“There is no doubt this was a violent murder, but we believe that fresh evidence now emerging points away from Simon. It follows that someone else was responsible and we would ask that if anybody has information they should come forward and telephone 01942 777777.”

Among the points Mr Malone makes are that the Home Office pathologist in the case, Dr Michael Heath, has since been discredited

He was one of the UK's leading pathologists before resigning from the Home Office register after being severely criticised by a disciplinary hearing in 2006.

The Advisory Board for Forensic Pathology upheld 20 disciplinary charges against Dr Heath.