SIMON HALL - BBC TV ROUGH JUSTICE
It is a widely held view that Simon Hall has been wrongly convicted of murder. It is alleged he was jailed in 2002 on the basis of flawed evidence. Many people have signed a petition and several MPs say it's time to review this case for the potential miscarriage of justice it might be.
There are a number of facts which are important which seem to have been overlooked where Simon was convicted on partial and some might say inconclusive evidence. Namely: the fact that forensic and DNA evidence did not place him at the scene of the crime. They were not his boot prints in the garden. They were not his fingerprints in the house. He had no forensic traces of the scene (glass) on him or his clothes.
Simon was convicted on the basis that he may have possessed clothes made with similar fibres to those found in the house. It is believed that around 35,000 people in the UK also possess clothes with similar fibres to those found in the house.
Simon had an alibi throughout the night apart from a short 30 minute drive home in the early hours of the morning, where he had been out partying elsewhere that evening. He was convicted despite having no motive.
The Justice 4 Simon Team - www.justice4simon.co.uk
The Campaign has the support of:
Simon's MP Chris Mole , Bob Russell MP for Colchester, Tony Wright MP for Great Yarmouth, a Forensics Expert from Oxford University , "Innocent" Organisation , Private Eye magazine and the general public.
BBC ROUGH JUSTICE 12/04/07 - Simon Hall
NEWS DO NOT MISS !!
Justice Raffety told a jury of 5 women and 7 men in summing up "there is no direct evidence to prove that Simon Hall murdered Joan Albert and that there is apparent circumstantial evidence and it's up to you how you wish to interpret it".
However, there is a general feeling that the jury might have been misdirected and mislead by the summing up.
The following articles with try and demonstrate how this may have occurred.
Simon Hall's mother, Lynne Hall, was a close friend of Joan Albert. She used to run many errands for Mrs Albert which included taking Rusty, her elderly dog, for walks.
As a result, Simon was aware of Mrs Albert, but he only knew her in passing and had never really met her properly.
The prosecution alleged that Simon Hall considered Joan Albert to be a wealthy woman, and being short of funds himself, decided to rob her.
It was also alleged that Joan Albert would recognise Simon, and that he murdered her for that reason.
However, at the time, the Defence showed in court that his finances were better than ever and that in fact he had just been accepted for a loan in order to buy a car.
Simon Hall's father, Phil Hall told the court that he would have helped his son if his financial situation had been so desperate, and therefore there was no need for Simon to seek money elsewhere.
Family and friends feel strongly, and are adamant, that Simon would not break into someone's house, let alone murder someone after a night out. Beside only a foolish and desperate person would break into somebody's house at 6am, a time when people are starting to wake up. Simon Hall is neither.
The prosecution alleged that Simon Hall could not account fully or properly for his movements between 5.30am and 6am.
Alarmingly, during the summing up, the jury were effectively directed to infer that the murder took place during this "window of opportunity", merely because Simon could not account for his movements during these times.
In fact, it would appear that the prosecution's case was effectively built up around the "window of opportunity", without discourse to any other evidence that might indicate otherwise.
Various neighbours provided statements to the police, and subsequently gave evidence to the court, that they were woken at around 2 am by a "loud noise" coming from the direction of Joan Albert's home. Unfortunately, the jury was rather facetiously directed by the Judge to regard these noises as possibly coming from a "clumsy cat".
This is particularly unfortunate as the Crown's Pathologist could not give a time of death and in fact would not be drawn into the matter.
The fact the there was no time of death should have been highlighted as significant during the summing up, but it was barely mentioned.
Statements from family and close friends describe Joan Albert as being a very habitual person, very set in her ways. One habit that was frequently mentioned was that Joan Albert was known to have a midnight snack. Rusty the dog was old and unwell and needed to be let out several times during the night. Therefore it wasn't unusual for Mrs Albert to have a snack such as a sandwich at around midnight whilst waiting for Rusty to do his business.
Indeed, forensic photographs taken of the kitchen showed dirty plates and implements in the kitchen, suggesting a snack of some sort had been consumed sometimes during the night of the murder.
In court, the defence called a Gastroenterologist to give evidence regarding an analysis of Joan Albert's stomach's content removed during the autopsy. The food traces found were consistent with the idea that Joan Albert had consumed a "midnight snack".
According to scientific research, studies have shown that traces of digested food can still be found in the stomach up to 3h after eating a light meal. In a normal person with no digestive problems, a complete clearing of a stomach contents would take place after about 6 hours. Joan Albert did not have any digestive problem at the time.
Putting this in content, if Joan Albert did indeed have a midnight snack, by the time Simon Hall is alleged to have committed the crime at around 5.30to 5.45, digestion would have been completed and no food traces would have found.
The Gastroenterologist actually came to the conclusion that whenever Joan Albert's last meal was eaten, she would have died within 3.5hours or so- but probably less of consuming it.
If that meal had indeed been an habitual "midnight snack" then the time of death could have been no later then 3.30am possibly even as early as 2am, a time which is broadly consistent with the time the neighbours heard the loud noise.
Unfortunately, the jury, yet again, were directed away from this potentially important evidence.
The Verdict - Jury
At the murder scene, no finger prints or DNA that could be attributed to Simon were ever found. In fact there were two sets of finger prints in significant places that still haven't been identified. One set on the kitchen door at about shoulder height, just above where Joan Albert was found and the other on the push plate of a door upstairs.
Crucially, the post mortem showed that an additional number of wounds found on Joan Albert were committed after her death. The crown's pathologist gave evidence to the court that these wounds had been inflected a significant amount of time after death, up to 30 minutes.
It thus becomes apparent, on the crown's own time scale and within the postulated "window of opportunity", that Simon would not have had the time to commit this crime.
Lynne Hall testified at the trial that when her son come home form his night out, there was nothing out of the ordinary, and certainly no blood or any other evidence of violence on him.
It is accepted that the killer climbed over 2 fences to get to the rear garden of Joan Albert 's house, and then smashed the kitchen window in order to gain access. This could have been the loud noises referred to by the 2 neighbours as mentioned earlier.
There were 3 footprints found at significant locations along this route. They were professionally determined, by a forensic scientist called on behalf of the crown, to have been made by town of office shoes, where the heel had small raised squares and a groove around the edge of the sole.
The crown's expert could only give the size as between 6 to 10. At the time, Simon had a size 9 black moccasin style dress shoes, which were determined not to have made any of the three footprints mentioned earlier.
By far, the bulk of the prosecution case was based upon the discovery of a quantity of black flock fibres, commonly used to produce velvet or velour clothing coupled with a much smaller quantity of what was described in court as green polyester fibres.
These fibres were found on Joan Albert's body, along the route the killer took to gain access to her house, on a fence post at the bottom of the garden.
Microscopically indistinguishable fibres were found on the floor of Simon Hall's bedroom wardrobe at his parent's house, some at his house in Ipswich and two cars he had the use of.
Microscopically indistinguishable fibres were also found at two other houses not associated to Simon, but as the numbers were small, the police didn't carry further investigation.
The prosecution alleged that Simon Hall was wearing a pair of black velvet trousers, which possibly could have been brought that morning from Tesco's Copdock, Ipswich . Whist it is true that Simon Hall withdrew some cash from the ATM at Tesco's, he did not enter the store itself. In fact, he was caught on the ATM camera withdrawing cash from the ATM but the entrance CCTV did not capture Simon entering the store itself.
Simon stated that on that night, he was wearing a pair of dark blue jeans, a jumper with a number 4 on it, a leather jacket, a pair of brown ankle boots, nothing black velvety or green.
Gareth Hampson also gave evidence in the court that broadly stated that Simon Hall was thought to have been wearing dark blue jeans and a close fitting jumper.
In fact, whilst there were a number of contradictions and confusions in all the statements that the police took, not one person thought he was wearing black velvet trousers as the prosecution alleged. As a matter of fact, those closest to Simon have no recollection of him ever wearing a pair of black velvet trousers, or indeed any other type of clothing made of the same fabric. The nearest anyone could come up with was a pair of moleskin type trousers, but they were tan, not black.
Mrs Justice Rafferty, in summing up, suggested that the fibre evidence was not disputed.
However, it must be noted that Judith Cunnison, the crown's expert witness established that there were innumerable chain of supply in respect of the black flock fibre, but in this court case, only one supply chain was concentrated on; an Italian manufacturer called Wonder SRL. Over the relevant period of time, 30000 garments were produced for the UK market by this one manufacturer referred by the crown. It can be deduced that it is in fact a quite common material, and this is without recourse to all the other potential supply chains in the world.
At the time there were a significant number of stores in Ipswich and the surrounding area that had garments on sale made with the flock material in question. In fact, taking Tesco as a reference point, 5 relevant garments were sold in the Copdock store in the day or two leading up to the murder and this assumes the garment in question was actually purchased from the Tesco store at Copdock.
Whilst this seems to insurmountable evidence, it is only circumstantial. It must be stressed that even though fibres were recovered, which were described as "undistinguishable" from places common to Joan Albert and Simon Hall, no source garment was ever recovered. In court, it was described how circumstances dictate the possibility that these fibres might have originated from a garment once owned by Lynne Hall, who used to have her own fashion business.
In fact the wardrobe in the bedroom, where the core substance of the fibres were recovered, was once used for storage of garments form this clothes business.
Lynne Hall had been in and out of Joan Albert's home, Simon Hall's cars, and her own home innumerable times so there is every chance that Mrs Hall could have been the unwitting secondary carrier of the fibres which served to incriminate Simon.
During the summing up, the correct definition of "undistinguishable" as used by the crown's expert witness was omitted. The word means from a similar source as opposed to identical as the judge surmised. Therefore, whilst the garment that potentially shed the fibres in Joan Albert's property and the garment that shed fibres at sites common to Simon Hall might have been similar, it does not mean it was the same garment.
It is known that the assailant broke into Joan Albert's home by smashing the kitchen window, possibly with enough force to wake several neighbours. This would have generated microscopic window shards from window glass. However, no glass shards or paint fragments were found at the sites linked to Simon Hall and where the fibres were recovered.
Returning to the broken kitchen window, the widest point in the gap made was measured to be approximately 14".
Simon is over 6 foot tall and quite well built so to have fitted through that gap without even drawing blood or damaging his clothing would have been quite a feat.
It must be mentioned, as confirmed by crown witness in court, that the windows were locked as were the front and back doors, so the broken hole in the kitchen window was the only mean of entry and exit.
No reconstruction was ever made either to determine how easy it would have been for Simon Hall to have climbed through that broken window.
Lynne Hall was doing his washing at the time, any blood on his clothing; rips and so on would have been queried.
Message from Simon - 5 April 07
It's been a long time since I wrote anything for this website, probably too long but with the airing of the BBC Rough Justice – The Innocent Brief in mind and the massive rise in the profile of this case I thought I should attempt some kind of message. Here goes…
This year is proving to be a good year.
The campaign for freedom gathers pace with the appointment of a CCRC Case Manager and our attempts to raise awareness of my situation reaching levels I never though could be realised.
What started as just a little website giving information to the public and helping me by making me feel that people were working hard for me and I wasn't forgotten, has grown into one of the leading miscarriages of justice websites on the internet today.
It has proven to be such a valuable tool from which we have managed to gain help and support from so many people all over the world including Barristers, Solicitors, Law Students, Politicians, Journalists, film makers, Authors, Doctors, Scientists and even serving police officers, but that was obviously denied!!
All things considered I am okay, if just a little tired and underweight. I've more wrinkles and grey hair but apart from that there is nothing to report. I'm healthy so I mustn't grumble.
My family and friends are still there for me and although some with whom I was once very close seem to have drifted away, others from old have come along for the ride plus new people who have never met me but still send messages and letters of support.
There is nothing better than family and friends; knowing that you are loved and cared about.
Can anything else be more important?
Here's hoping to see you all on the other side of the wall.
Mum, Dad & Shaun – I love you, Steffie – You're amazing, Oli – you legend!
To Campbell Malone, Michael Naughton, Gabe, Made, Jo, Amanda, Jess, Keir Starmer, Peter Bull, Allan Jamieson, Cathy & Josie, Innocent & MOJO, John Hatton, thank you for all your hard work and faith in me,
Last but not least, thank you to all the people out there for your support!
(Falsely Accused Carers and Teachers)
for education staff and volunteers in schools
Persecution of stepfather or stepmother
by children of single parent families
LINKS and REFERENCE
SOME PROMINENT MISCARRIAGES OF JUSTICE:
Very many persons accused of assault, especially sexual assault, are either innocent or having been found guilty by a Court, are later found to have been innocent all along.
Under current legislation the accuser's identity is protected, whereas the accused is not. Where the majority of persons accused turn out to be innocent, during the period they are under suspicion, they are reported in the press, with an assumption of guilt, which usually ruins their lives: relationships and businesses. This particularly applies to Carers or Teachers, or those involved in such professions.
The man in the street is particularly vulnerable when entering into a relationship, since he or she has no body to turn to for advice and is not in any event tuned into the potential dangers. Those most at risk include males joining single parent families with children, and most especially young girls who are most likely to hurl accusations and usually where a relationship is not working or is breaking down.
(Falsely Accused Carers and Teachers)
Guidance for education staff and volunteers in schools
A taste for adventure capitalists
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