Hoxton man Sam Hallam to be freed on bail today after seven years jail over Finsbury murder

15:04 16 May 2012

Sam Hallam at Bullingdon Prison

Sam Hallam at Bullingdon Prison

Sam Hallam Campaign

Hoxton man Sam Hallam is set to be freed from prison after seven years following dramatic and emotional scenes at a court of appeal hearing today.

He has been in jail for seven years since being convicted of the murder of Essayas Kasshun who was stabbed on St Luke’s Estate, Finsbury, in 2004.

The gallery erupted in cheers and screams of delight as Mr P Wilcox QC, for the Crown, said they would not be opposing the appeal.

Rising to his feet immediately after the break for lunch, he said: “We have given the matter anxious consideration over a good deal of time. We do not intend to oppose the appeal.”

Lady Justice Hallett said: “Try to keep calm. We will make our judgement tomorrow.”

Mr Hallam will be released today on bail pending the judgement.

Mr Kasshun was attacked by a gang of youths and died in hospital two days later. The following year Mr Hallam, then 17, was one of two people convicted of the murder.

Now 24, Mr Hallam has always maintained his innocence.

Friends and relatives convinced of his innocence joined in a pre-appeal vigil on Tuesday night. Crowds of people turned out at St John’s Church, in Hoxton, despite the pouring rain and released hundreds of yellow balloons into the night sky to symbolise their hopes for his release.

Earlier today his barrister referred to “a case that was crying out for judicial intervention.”

Lady Justice Hallett DBE, who sat alongside Mr Justice Spencer and Mr Justice Openshaw, asked the defence to focus on what she called the “three planks of the crown’s case”.

These were the testimony of a male and female witness and the question of Mr Hallam’s “false” alibi.

The court heard Mr Blaxland QC, for Mr Hallam, question how the female witness had changed her evidence. He said: “There was nothing in her original statement – no reference at all to Sam Hallam. The police said there was nothing to suggest she had seen somebody she recognised but could not name. There was no Mr X.”

The witness later claimed she had recognised Mr Hallam, and he said police had asked her leading questions to make the identification sound more positive in court.

The hearing continues.

Latest Stories

47 minutes ago
This Vauxhall Corsa flipped over and landed on its roof this morning in Lambeth. Shocked Twitter users captured the scene [Photo courtesy of @k111777]

A car has flipped over dramatically on Brixton Road, Lambeth.

Read more
33 Portland Place looks peaceful on the outside, but if these walls could talk... [Photo from Google StreetView]

A swanky 24-bedroom house in the West End that was Britian’s answer to the Playboy mansion is up for sale – because its fraudster owner needs the cash for legal fees.

Read more
07:25
The incident happened between Ann Street and Villas Road on the Glyndon Estate in Plumstead (Pic: Google Street View)

A 19-year-old woman was raped as she made her way home through the Glyndon Estate in Plumstead.

Read more

Quirky London

Quizzes

How much do you really know about QPR legends like Les Ferdinand? Picture: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

Test your knowledge of QPR’s greatest players with our fantastic legends quiz.

Read more
How much do you know about films in London? (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Do you know your Lock Stock from your Long Good Friday, Sliding Doors from Shakespeare in Love?

Read more
How much about this great city do you really know? Take our true Londoner quiz and find out (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Do you know your apples from your pears? Take our Cockney quiz and see how much of a Londoner you really are.

Read more