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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 April, 2005, 09:52 GMT 10:52 UK
Murder conviction doubts raised
by Nic Rigby
BBC News, Norwich

Simon Hall
The case has been sent to the Criminal Cases Review Commission
Doubts have been raised about the conviction of Simon Hall - who was jailed for life in 2003 for murdering 79-year-old Suffolk widow Joan Albert.

Hall, now 27, of Hill House, Ipswich, is due to apply to the Criminal Cases Review Commission asking them to look again at the case.

His mother Lynne, who lives in Capel St Mary, told BBC News that family and friends are convinced of his innocence.

The trial heard Mrs Albert was murdered in the early hours in December 2001.

Hall had been out drinking with friends in Ipswich and had an alibi for almost the entire night and early morning when she died, except between 0530 and 0615 GMT.

The police contended that after driving to a house to drop a friend off in Ipswich, Hall then drove to Capel St Mary and parked his car closed to 79-year-old Mrs Albert's home.

Joan Albert, who was found dead in the hallway of her home in 2003
There is no way Simon was involved at all. This has been a nightmare
Lynne Hall, Hall's mother

Police said Hall, who is well-built and more than 6ft tall, got in through a 14-inch wide window.

At his trial, the jury was told fingerprints, footprints and DNA evidence found at the murder scene did not match Hall's.

But detectives believe fibres, from black trousers, found at the scene, in his car and in a cupboard at his parent's home, tie him to the murder.

This is disputed by Hall's family, who say he never wore those type of trousers and was wearing blue ones on the night.

"There is no way Simon was involved at all. This has been a nightmare," Mrs Hall said.

She said her son, who has another 13 years of his sentence to serve, hoped the new appeal would bring results.

A Suffolk Police spokeswoman said: "Under the circumstances it is not appropriate for us to comment."

In a statement Mrs Albert's family said they had been devastated by her murder.

"It has changed our lives forever, and we are continually trying to put this behind us, but it is very difficult."

They said that at the trial the evidence had been enough to convince the jury and it had also been enough to convince the family justice had been done.

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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