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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 19 February, 2003, 18:59 GMT
Murder accused takes the stand
Joan Albert
Joan Albert was a widow
The man accused of stabbing to death an elderly widow at her Suffolk home has taken the stand to deny her murder.

Joan Albert, 79, was found dead in her hallway in Capel St Mary, Suffolk, on Sunday 16 December 2001.

Simon Hall, 25, from Hill House Road in Ipswich, is accused of killing her in a burglary that went wrong.

But he told Norwich Crown Court on Wednesday he had gone out in Ipswich on the night before her body was found.

Prosecution case concluded

He said that when he returned to Capel St Mary in the early hours of Sunday morning, he did not hear or see anything suspicious.

Asked by his counsel Peter Rouch QC if he had broken into Mrs Albert's home and killed her, he replied: "No, not at all."

He also denied in cross-examination he had formed an opinion that Mrs Albert was a wealthy woman.

Earlier on Wednesday, the prosecution concluded its case.

The jury heard transcripts from police interviews with Mr Hall.

They heard how detectives confronted him with forensic evidence, focusing on fibres found at his house which matched those discovered at the murder scene.

Evidence badly labelled

The detectives told Mr Hall he had the knowledge, the opportunity and the time to carry out the killing.

Mr Hall replied: "Some of those things may be true, but I did not murder Joan Albert."

The prosecution's last witness was Detective Superintendent Roy Lambert, who was questioned about the gathering of forensic evidence.

When presented by the defence counsel with evidence that a bag had not been correctly labelled, he had to admit this should never have happened.

The trial continues.





LINKS TO MORE ENGLAND STORIES


 

SEE ALSO:
Murder jury hears fibre evidence
17 Feb 03 |  England
Fibre 'match' in murder case
11 Feb 03 |  England


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