SAM HALLAM CONVICTION QUASHED
A young man who spent more than seven years behind bars for a murder he insists he did not commit had his conviction quashed by judges today.
Sam Hallam, 24, was at the Court of Appeal in London to hear the announcement by Lady Justice Hallett, Mr Justice Openshaw and Mr Justice Spencer that his conviction is “unsafe”.
Mr Hallam, who was convicted at the Old Bailey in 2005 of the murder of a trainee chef and sentenced to life, was dramatically released on bail by the three judges yesterday after prosecutors said they were not opposing his appeal.
His QC, Henry Blaxland, told the court that Mr Hallam, of Hoxton, east London, was the victim of a “serious miscarriage of justice”.
Mr Hallam was 18 when he was found guilty of the murder of Essayas Kassahun, 21, who died after being attacked by a group of youths on the St Luke’s estate in Clerkenwell, London, in October 2004.
His family and friends have waged a high-profile campaign insisting he is innocent, with supporters including the actor Ray Winstone.
Mr Hallam sat in the public gallery with his mother Wendy Cohen as the judges gave their reasons for their decision.
There was tumultuous applause and shouts of “justice” as the conviction was quashed.