Got a Lancaster or Morecambe story? Contact us.
Appeal-campaign killer found dead
A killer who spent a decade claiming he was the victim of a miscarriage of justice before admitting his guilt has been found dead in jail.
The Prison Service confirmed the body of 36-year-old Simon Hall was discovered by staff at HMP Wayland in Norfolk this morning.
Hall, from Ipswich, was convicted and jailed for life in 2003 after murdering Joan Albert, 79, in her home in Capel St Mary, Suffolk. She was found in her hallway on December 16, 2001, after being stabbed five times.
He protested his innocence for a decade, launching a series of appeals, winning the backing of MPs and appearing in the BBC documentary Rough Justice.
But his campaign came to an abrupt end when Hall admitted his guilt to prison authorities last year.
A Prison Service spokesman said: "HMP Wayland prisoner Simon Hall was found unresponsive in his cell by prison staff at approximately 5.25am on Sunday February 23.
"Paramedics attended but he was pronounced dead at 5.49am.
"As with all deaths in custody, the Independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will conduct an investigation."
Suffolk Police said at the time of Hall's admission that the " uncertainty (had) undoubtedly exacerbated the suffering" Mrs Albert's family endured since she was murdered.
In a statement issued to the East Anglian Daily Times last year, Mrs Albert's relatives said: ''During the last 10 years the publicity surrounding the appeals has been very distressing for our family, making moving on impossible, but we would like to thank Suffolk Police, including (retired detective superintendent) Roy Lambert and his team, who carried out the original investigation, to present-day officers who continue to support us.
''We are also grateful to those who have helped us throughout this difficult ordeal.''
Hall submitted two applications to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) to consider his case. The CCRC was informed of his prison confession and contacted him asking him if he wanted to withdraw his claim, and his case was subsequently closed.