Hoxton man Sam Hallam drenched with champagne as he tastes freedom for first time in seven years

18:38 16 May 2012

Sam Hallam and his mother drenched with champagne as they leave the High Court

Sam Hallam and his mother drenched with champagne as they leave the High Court

Archant

Sam Hallam, who dramatically left prison today after seven years was drenched with champagne by his supporters outside court.

Mr Hallam and his mother were whisked into a waiting car and sped up Fleet Street, in central London, as people beeped car horns after he was released on bail pending a final decision on his appeal tomorrow lunchtime.

The 24-year-old Hoxton man was serving a life sentence for murder of Essayas Kasshunon, who was stabbed on the St Lukes Estate, in Finsbury, in 2004 - a crime he always maintained he did not commit.

And Paul May, the man who helped run the Hallam family’s campaign to free Sam, said they were considering referring the case to the independent police watchdog.

Speaking moments after Sam’s release, he said: “It’s unexpected but we are delighted. As was said in court this case should never have been brought to trial.

“Seven years of his life has been wasted because of an incompetent investigation.

“We are considering our next step but for tonight we are going to celebrate. Sam Hallam is an innocent man and is walking free from court.

“All his family are shocked but delighted that all the hard work over seven years finally culminated in justice being done.

“We will consider a complaint to the Independent Police Complaints Comission. It is the legal duty of police to pursue reasonable lines of enquiry.

“They didn’t do their job properly and that led to an innocent man going to prison and the perpetrators of this terrible murder going largely unpunished.”

The appeal against Mr Hallam’s conviction for murder had been due to run for two full days, but at around 2pm today the prosecution said the crown did not intend to oppose the appeal.

Lady Justice Hallett DBE, Mr Justice Spencer and Mr Justice Openshaw will make their judgement on whether to quash the murder conviction at the High Court tomorrow (Thursday) at noon.

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