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

Scum surrounding the bath (Picture: Redbridge Council)

A landlord who let nine people – including an 18-month-old – live in an “appalling” mouse-infested house in east London has been ordered to pay out £18k after being convicted of 15 offences.

Read more
Christopher Bridger was accused of sexual offences against three women. He was found guilty of raping a woman whilst he was studying in south London in 2008 [Picture courtesy of Metropolitan Police]

A trainee paramedic at St George’s University Hospital in London has been found guilty of rape at Guildford Crown Court, after lulling women “into a false sense of security by claiming to be gay”.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:44
Lutfur Rahman's tweet

BREAKING: The flag was been removed by Tower Hamlets Council on Thursday afternoon. We are awaiting a statement from the Mayor. More to follow.

Read more

Quirky London

Quizzes

But which London?! [Photo courtesy of Basher Eyre]

Yoou might know London like the back of your hand, but how well do you know the other Londons - and London landmarks - across the world?

Read more
The prize is glory (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

It used to be Manhattan that was famous for its majestic skyline, but now our fair city is catching up. Do you know your Shard from your Heron Tower?

Read more
Test your London musical knowledge with our album quiz (Images via Getty)

Does your music knowledge stretch from The Rolling Stones to Rudimental, Spandau Ballet to Siouxsie and the Banshees? If so then test it out with our London bands quiz:

Read more