Tiny fibres vital clue to murder case

DAMNING black fibres found on murder victim Joan Albert matched with evidence unearthed in two cars and two homes connected with the Ipswich man accused of her murder, a court heard today.

DAMNING black fibres found on murder victim Joan Albert matched with evidence unearthed in two cars and two homes connected with the Ipswich man accused of her murder, a court heard today.

Prosecutor Graham Parkins QC, told the jury of seven men and five women at Norwich Crown Court that Mrs Albert, 79, from Boydlands, Capel St Mary, was murdered on December 16 after Hall, 25, of Hill House Road, Ipswich, broke in to burgle the house, and disturbed Mrs Albert.

Knowing she would recognise him, he then panicked and grabbed a carving knife from her kitchen and inflicted multiple stab wounds from which she died, said Mr Parkins.

He said one stab wound on the front of her chest had been inflicted with such force that it had penetrated to a depth of 17 centimetres, piercing her backbone.

Home Office pathologist Dr Michael Heath, said they were the result of a "savage and brutal attack."

Mr Parkins said that the prosecution case hinged on forensic evidence gathered by scenes of crime officers and analysed by police scientists.

Most Read

He said: "Simon Hall is an intelligent young man. He is streetwise and he knew about things which might assist police in the investigation of a serious crime like dog hairs and carpet fibres etc. We say despite careful attempts by this man over the months it took Suffolk Police to painstakingly investigate this lady's murder, he got rid of items of clothing and footwear he had been wearing on the night Mrs Albert was killed.

"But unknown to him, he left behind at various locations – a fence outside where he entered the property and on the body itself – a number of fibres which clearly had come from his clothing.

"Scientists compared these fibres against a wardrobe the house he was living in with his parents, and found identical fibres in a flat he lived in later, the two vehicles he was using at the time of Mrs Albert's death. Scientists will tell you all these fibres match. They are not just similar – the words the scientists use is indistinguishable."

Mr Parkins said, despite Hall denials of murder, certain information he had given police changed as the months went by, including the time he arrived home after a night out in Ipswich in the early hours of December 16.

He had remarked to an ex-girlfriend that Mrs Albert was from a wealthy family and he knew her because his mum did her shopping and walked her dog, he added.

Mrs Albert's body was discovered by four friends concerned for her welfare, who visited her home on the morning of December 16 to find her beloved spaniel Rusty scratching inside the front door and discovered her body lying in the hallway.

Mr Parkins said she was cold to the touch so had been dead for several hours.

He said Hall, 24 at the time, was the adopted son of Lynn and George Hall of Snowcroft, Capel St Mary. He worked at 24seven store as a calls adviser.

His broken down Audi was searched where it had been abandoned in the 24/7 car park in Fore Hamlet, Ipswich, in June 2002, where black fibres were found.

Fibres were also found in his Citroen Saxo car but not in a Volkswagen Golf he sold on December 15, 2001, nor in a Ford Escort he bought after the murder date.

He denies murder. The trial continues.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter