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Last Updated: Friday, 28 February 2003, 16:04 GMT
Guilty verdict in pensioner murder trial
Joan Albert
Joan Albert was found dead in her hallway
The man accused of murdering an elderly Suffolk widow is facing a life sentence after being found guilty.

On Friday, Simon Hall, 25, was convicted of stabbing to death Joan Albert, 79, at her home in Capel St Mary, near Ipswich, in December 2001.

The prosecution told the court that Hall killed her during a burglary that went wrong.

Hall, of Hill House, Ipswich, had denied the offence, but after deliberating for six hours, the jury at Norwich Crown Court found him guilty by a majority of 11 to one.

Mrs Justice Rafferty said: "There is only one sentence, but before I pass it I want to read reports."
Simon Hall
Mr Hall plans to appeal against the guilty verdict

She told the jury she did not know when the sentencing would take place.

The court had heard during the three-week trial how Mrs Albert was stabbed to death in her home in a "sudden, savage and brutal attack".

Black fibres found on her body matched those found in Hall's wardrobe, bedroom and cars.

Hall had told the court that he had been drinking on the night of her death and between 0400 GMT and 0600 GMT had been walking around Ipswich sobering up before driving home.

'Auntie can never come back'

Speaking after the trial, Hall's solicitor Simon Caldwell said: "We will be putting together an appeal and we will be working using every effort to make sure that this verdict is overturned."

Relatives of Mrs Albert also gave their reactions.

Her niece Glynis Dzundza said: "Auntie Joan can never come back and our memories of the past 14 months will never be erased.

Scientific evidence

"A lot of our lives have been upset, including family and friends of Auntie Joan, and they will never be the same again."

Detective Superintendent Roy Lambert, of Suffolk Police, thanked his staff and members of the community for helping with the inquiry.

"More than anything, this case demonstrates the vital role science can play in today's criminal investigations.

"The scientific evidence gathered by our team played a crucial role in bringing Hall to justice."

Murder accused takes the stand
19 Feb 03 |  England
Murder jury hears fibre evidence
17 Feb 03 |  England
Fibre 'match' in murder case
11 Feb 03 |  England

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