Friday, December 04, 2009

Leading British lawyer to represent Simon Hall in appeal against murder conviction

Michael Mansfield takes on case of man found guilty of murdering elderly woman in Suffolk

A man who claims he was wrongly convicted of murdering an elderly woman eight years ago is to be represented by one of the country's leading defence barristers at the court of appeal.

Lawyer Michael Mansfield, who has previously championed the cases of the Birmingham Six, Barry George and the family of Stephen Lawrence, has agreed to represent Simon Hall, who was found guilty of murdering 73-year-old Joan Albert at Capel St Mary, Suffolk, in December 2001.

Hall has always maintained his innocence, and his family and supporters have disputed many elements of the prosecution's case against him. In 2004 his case went before the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), which last month decided to refer it to the court of appeal based on new forensic evidence.

Hall's solicitor, Campbell Malone, said Mansfield had been interested in the case since meeting members of the Hall family a number of years ago.

Danielle Cooper, a member of Mansfield's chambers, worked with Malone on Hall's case while it was at the CCRC. "The hope always was that Michael would be available to do the case," Malone said. "This is one of the cases he is committed to."

Hall's wife, Stephanie, who is running the Justice for Simon campaign, said: "We are delighted. I've had the opportunity to research some of Mansfield's previous cases and have been comforted by what I have learned." Hall's legal team and family are awaiting a date for the appeal hearing.

Original report here

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