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Last Updated: Friday, 11 April, 2003, 12:31 GMT 13:31 UK
Pensioner's murderer jailed for life
Joan Albert
Joan Albert was found dead in her hallway
A man found guilty of murdering a Suffolk pensioner in a burglary that went wrong was jailed for life on Friday.

Officer worker Simon Hall, 25, of Hill House, Ipswich, was found guilty of Joan Albert's murder at Norwich Crown Court in February.

Her body was found in the hallway of her home in Capel St Mary in December 2001.

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

Simon Hall
Hall plans to appeal against the guilty verdict
Sentencing him at London's High Court on Friday Mrs Justice Rafferty said Mrs Albert had suffered a "brutal and undignified death".

"Why you chose, in the small hours, to break into her home and stab her to death may never be known," the judge told Hall.

The jury at the three-week trial heard how Mrs Albert had been 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.

After Friday's hearing Hall's parents, who were neighbours of Mrs Albert, friends and other members of his family vowed to continue to fight to clear his name.

His legal team said an appeal against his conviction was already under way.

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