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Summary

  1. Convicted murderer Simon Hall took his own life, inquest finds
  2. Plans to introduce lynx to Thetford Forest are dropped
  3. Compensation payments for damage to vehicles caused by potholes have risen in Norfolk
  4. Updates on Monday, 20 June 2016
  5. News, sport, travel and weather updates resume on Tuesday at 08:00

Live Reporting

By Caroline Kingdon

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage today

That's it from the Norfolk Live team today. We'll be back tomorrow from 08:00.

Among the stories we've covered today was the news that a jury concluded that Simon Hall, who was serving a life sentence for the murder of Suffolk pensioner Joan Albert, took his own life at Wayland Prison. 

Other stories included the EU referendum debate which was broadcast live on BBC Radio Norfolk, with panellists arguing for Remain or Leave... and former Norwich striker Ched Evans siging a one-year contract with Chesterfield FC. 

Weather: A mainly clear night

Julie Reinger

BBC Look East weather

Heavy and possibly thundery showers will clear, giving a largely dry night with clear spells.  There's a chance of patchy mist and fog.

Temperatures will remain in double figures, with light winds. 

Weather chart for Tuesday 05:00 showing temperatures of 14(C) over Norfolk
BBC Weather

Tuesday is looking a largely dry day with just the small chance of a shower. Some sunny spells, but turning cloudy at times.

Temperatures reaching 21C (70F), with mainly light south-westerly winds.

BBC Weather has more information for where you live.

Council prefers repairs to compensation payouts

Tim Addicott

BBC Radio Norfolk

Norfolk County Council is paying out more than ever to people whose cars are damaged by potholes.

BBC Radio Norfolk has discovered that compensation payments for the last financial year are already at nearly £20,000 compared to just under £15,000 the previous financial year.

A car wheel in a pothole
Getty Images

Martin Wilby, who chairs the council's environment, development and transport committee said the cost was increasing as it was much easier for people to report damage.  

We take our pothole repairs very, very seriously... we'd much rather get them repaired than have to pay people compensation."

Martin WilbyNorfolk County Council

'Incredible opportunity' for young Diss musician launching solo album

Diss Express

A young Diss musician says he has an “incredible opportunity” when he launches his first solo album with a show at the famous Norwich Waterfront next month.

Will How, sitting in a leather chair holding a guitar
Diss Express

Wild lynx were hunted to extinction

Mike Liggins

BBC Look East

I've been looking at those plans to reintroduce lynx to parts of the UK, following the announcement that Thetford Forest is no longer one of those potential locations. Here are some facts on these wild cats:  

  • The lynx was hunted to extinction in this country between 500-700 AD
  • They're no threat to humans, predating mainly on deer, occasionally on game birds and rarely on sheep
  • Their territory in the UK is likely to be around 20 sq kms (7.7 sq miles)

A close-up of a lynx fax
BBC

Three possible locations have now been chosen in the UK, to be narrowed down to one, and the animals will be sourced from across Europe. They will not be fenced in but will be fitted with tracking collars by the charity behind the plans.

Ched Evans signed by Chesterfield

The former Norwich City striker Ched Evans has signed a 12-month deal with Chesterfield Football Club.

Evans was jailed in 2012 for raping a 19-year-old woman, but his conviction was quashed by the Court of Appeal. He faces a retrial later this year.

Ched Evans, in a dark suit and tie, leaving the Court of Appeal after his conviction was quashed
PA

Chesterfield chairman Dave Allen said the club had given a "great deal of thought to the signing" and following the court's decision, was in "no doubt that Ched Evans should be welcomed back into his profession as a professional footballer".

Evans' contract with the League One club will start on 1 July. 

Aston Villa set for a raid on Canaries?

Norwich Evening News

The back page of today's Norwich Evening News:

Back page of Norwich Evening News
Archant

Gang with silver Jaguar sought after burglary spree

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

Police have issued CCTV images of two men thought to be part of a gang which carried out distraction burglaries across Suffolk and Norfolk.

Silver Jaguar
Suffolk Police

The crime spree began in Icklingham, at 14:30 on 9 April.

On the same day, there were also burglaries in Purdis Farm, Stratford St Andrew and Beccles in Suffolk, and Gillingham, Chedgrave, Framingham Pigot and Little Fransham in Norfolk.

Campaigning wife felt 'betrayed' by confession

Laura Devlin

BBC News

After professing his innocence for more than a decade, in July 2013 Simon Hall spoke to his wife Stephanie on the phone and told her he had, in fact, stabbed Joan Albert to death. 

His confession left Mrs Hall in shock. She told the inquest she had still not come to terms with it at the time of his death, six months later. 

"I felt betrayed. I had a lot to contend with," she told the jury.

"It was extremely difficult because I still loved him."

Widow had believed husband was 'miscarriage of justice' victim

Laura Devlin

BBC News

Simon Hall was sentenced to life, with a minimum term of 16 years, in 2003.

Work colleague Stephanie was not in a relationship with him but kept in touch and eventually married him in prison in December 2008.

The following year, she publicly campaigned to clear her husband's name, believing him to be a victim of a "gross miscarriage of justice".

In 2011, the Court of Appeal rejected claims that there were fresh doubts over forensic evidence. Later that year, she told the BBC the Justice 4 Simon campaign was hopeful of a second appeal attempt, which was never heard.

Simon Hall met future wife after murder, but before arrest

Laura Devlin

BBC News

Simon Hall's widow Stephanie gave evidence on the first day of the week-long inquest. She described her husband as highly intelligent, comical, personable and compassionate. 

The pair had met as colleagues in 2002 - a couple of months after Mr Hall stabbed 79-year-old Joan Albert to death in her home at Capel St Mary, near Ipswich. 

At that time, she had no idea he was even suspected of such a crime. He was not arrested until later that year. 

Simon and Stephanie Hall
Submitted photo

Simon Hall's widow leaves court without speaking to media

Laura Devlin

BBC News

Simon Hall's widow Stephanie was not outside the coroner's court to give her view on the suicide verdict.

Norfolk Coroner's Court
BBC

She had said in evidence that she had had no indication from him that he was going to kill himself in Wayland Prison in 2014.

She said had spoken to him the night before, but she also told the inquest she had concerns he wasn't getting the help he needed while he was serving a life sentence for killing pensioner Joan Albert in his home village of Capel St Mary, near Ipswich.

Coroner 'satisfied matters have been dealt with' after Simon Hall suicide verdict

Laura Devlin

BBC News

The coroner has said she is not going to make any special report about how the Prison Service dealt with Simon Hall before he killed himself.

Hall, 36, took his own life while serving a life sentence at HMP Wayland in Norfolk, 13 years after he killed pensioner Joan Albert in Capel St Mary, near Ipswich.

Norfolk coroner Jacqueline Lake said: "I do not propose to make any report with regards to prevention of similar deaths. I'm satisfied that matters have been dealt with."

Exterior of Wayland Prison
BBC

Suicide verdict was unanimous

Laura Devlin

BBC News

The jury at the inquest into the death of convicted murderer Simon Hall reached a unanimous verdict of suicide.

Simon Hall
Contributed

Hall was 36 years old when he took his own life at HMP Wayland in 2014. He was serving a life sentence for killing Joan Albert in Capel St Mary, near Ipswich, in 2001.

Hall was jailed in 2003 but continued to protest his innocence until 2013, when he admitted responsibility for the murder.

BreakingSuicide verdict at Simon Hall inquest

Laura Devlin

BBC News

A jury concludes that Simon Hall, who was convicted of murdering Capel St Mary pensioner Joan Albert, took his own life at Wayland Prison in Norfolk.

Rail: Delays on services after vehicle hits bridge

BBC Travel

Passengers on Abellio Greater Anglia services between Norwich and London Liverpool Street face delays of up to 15 minutes after a vehicle hit a bridge at Needham Market. 

Nine arrested following disturbance

BBC Radio Norfolk

Nine people have been arrested following a disturbance in Norwich yesterday evening.

Police officers were called to reports of a disturbance on Motum Road involving a group of up to 30 people, shortly before 19:30.

A 17-year-old girl, a 29-year-old woman and seven men aged 19, 27, 28, 32, 33, 36 and 38, have been arrested on suspicion of violent disorder and remain in police custody. All are known to each other.

Norfolk police have increased patrols in the area today to offer reassurance to local residents.

Scheme to reintroduce wild cats to Norfolk has been dropped

A controversial scheme to reintroduce lynx to woodlands near Thetford Forest has been dropped, as first reported in the Eastern Daily Press

Two lynx cats
BBC

The site was one of five locations considered by the conservation charity The Lynx UK Trust where the carnivores would be released and fitted with tracing devices.  

Paul O'Donoghue, charity spokesman, says that although Thetford ticked all the boxes in its initial studies, its consultation had now narrowed down the sites to three - Aberdeen and Kintyre in Scotland and Kielder in England - with an announcement on the final location due within the next three to four weeks. 

Poll points to a Brexit lead in East

Eastern Daily Press

The front page of today's Eastern Daily Press

Front page of EDP
Archant

Simon Hall inquest jury retires to consider its verdict

Laura Devlin

BBC News

The jury has retired to consider its conclusion into the death of Simon Hall, who was jailed for the murder of Joan Albert in Capel St Mary, near Ipswich, in 2003 and found hanged at HMP Wayland 11 years later.

Lunch is being taken at the coroner's court in Norwich.

The jury will return to consider its verdict when it returns.

Fellow convict says Simon Hall seemed 'happy'

Laura Devlin

BBC News

Coroner Jacqueline Lake also reminded the inquest jury that one of Simon Hall's fellow prisoners said he seemed "happy" the day before he was found dead.

The jury has heard evidence from Nathan Morris, who was also serving time at HMP Wayland and said he'd discussed film and music with Hall on 22 February 2014.

Hall was found hanging in his cell on 23 February. A prison officer cut him down, but he had been dead for some time, the inquest heard.

Simon Hall was 'ambivalent' about his life

Laura Devlin

BBC News

At the inquest into the death of Simon Hall, coroner Jacqueline Lake has continued to provide the jury with a summary of a week's worth of evidence.

She told jury members that psychiatric nurse Adrian Coles said Hall was "ambivalent" about his own intentions and "didn't know what he had to live for", but didn't "want to die".

The jury has also been reminded that it heard evidence from a psychiatrist, who said that Hall was not suffering form a mental illness.

Coroner summarising evidence from the Simon Hall inquest

Laura Devlin

BBC News

The coroner has been running over evidence of Simon Hall's contact with an assessment care and custody team during his time serving at Hollesley Bay open prison in Suffolk and Wayland secure prison in Norfolk.

The jury has heard he went through periods of being under constant observation, but was not always given this status. The jury has been reminded that it heard evidence from a psychiatrist that Hall was not suffering from a mental illness.

Wife did not think convicted murderer intended to kill himself

Laura Devlin

BBC News

The inquest jury into the death of Simon Hall had previously heard from his widow Stephanie, who said her husband had not indicated that he wanted to take his own life.

Simon Hall
BBC

Stephanie Hall had backed her husband's claims that he had not killed Joan Albert in Capel St Mary.

Hall stuck to his claim for 12 years, before finally admitting, in 2013, that he had carried out the murder.

Travel: The latest updates for the county

BBC Travel

Here's the latest travel news:

Accidents have led to the closure of the A47 in Tilney All Saints, and the road is partially closed at the Pullover Roundabout in King's Lynn.

The A143 at St Olaves is also closed, because of an accident.

In the Norwich area, the A140 Boundary Road is partially blocked because of an accident involving a motorbike, and Colney Lane is partially blocked in both directions between the B1108 Watton Road junction and Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Jury reminded of similar 'suicide attempt'

Laura Devlin

BBC News

As the jury prepares to consider its conclusion into how convicted murderer Simon Hall died, it is reminded it heard evidence of a suicide attempt in similar circumstances on 30 November 2013.

Hall was found hanged at HMP Wayland on 23 February 2014.

The coroner Jacqueline Lake said the jury should record a verdict of misadventure if "it's more likely than not that Mr Hall deliberately suspended himself, but he did not intend the outcome to be fatal - it was a deliberate act that went wrong".

Three verdicts for Simon Hall jury to consider

Laura Devlin

BBC News

The jury at the inquest into the death of convicted murderer Simon Hall has been told it has a choice of three conclusions - suicide, misadventure or the coroner will read out a short narrative verdict, outlining the circumstances of the case.

Coroner Jacqueline Lake said a suicide verdict could only be recorded if the jury was sure:

  • Hall intended to take his own life
  • It was a deliberate act, initiated by him
  • All other possible explanations were ruled out

Answers to those four questions about Simon Hall

Laura Devlin

BBC News

Over the course of a week of evidence, the coroner's court jury in Norwich has already heard the answers to the four questions it is formally obliged to answer for the legal record:

  • The dead man was Simon Hall, who was born on 14 September 1977
  • He died on 23 February 2014
  • He was found dead at HMP Wayland in Norfolk
  • The court heard the medical cause of death was hanging

Inquest jury has four questions to answer

Laura Devlin

BBC News

The jury has four questions to answer, most of which are formalities, before it considers its conclusion (or verdict) into the death of Simon Hall:

  • Who died?
  • When did he die?
  • Where did he die?
  • How did he die?

Simon Hall timeline

  • December 2001: Joan Albert found dead at her home in Capel St Mary, near Ipswich
  • February 2003: Simon Hall, then 25, found guilty of her murder at Norwich Crown Court
  • April 2003: Hall jailed for life at London's High Court
  • Hall continues to protest his innocence
  • August 2013: Hall admits he killed Joan Albert 
  • February 2014: Hall, now 36, found dead at HMP Wayland, Norfolk
Simon Hall
BBC

Simon Hall inquest reopens for the day

Laura Devlin

BBC News

I'm in court for what is expected to be the final day of the inquest into the death of Simon Hall - the murderer who was found dead in his cell at HMP Wayland.

The jury at the coroner's court in Norwich has been passed a photo of Hall, who was found guilty of killing Joan Albert in 2003 but only admitted the crime 10 years later.

Coroner Jacqueline Lake told the jury: "It is important that you see him as a person."

Simon Hall: Inquest into prison death due to end

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

A week-long inquest into the death in prison of a convicted murderer is due to finish today.

Joan Albert
Contributed

Simon Hall killed pensioner Joan Albert in her home at Capel St Mary, near Ipswich, in 2003.

Hall, 36, was found hanged at HMP Wayland in Norfolk in 2014.

EU Referendum debate: Why should we vote to leave or remain?

BBC Radio Norfolk

The four panelists taking part in the BBC Radio Norfolk debate on the EU referendum were asked one final question: "Why should we vote to leave or remain?"

EU Referendum graphic used by the BBC
BBC

Luke Morris, partner at Larking Gowen chartered accountants, for Leave, said he could sum up his reason in two words: "Democracy matters."

South Norfolk Conservative MP Richard Bacon, also backing Leave, said the idea that we would be turning our backs on Europe was nonsense as "trade takes place because people want to sell goods and services to people who want to buy them are prices they want to pay".

For the Remain campaign, Prof Neil Ward, pro vice-chancellor at the University of East Anglia, said: "For those undecided, it's a issue for the head, not the heart... I'm really worried about what would be self-inflicted economic damage that would affect us for many years to come... the UK would be severely disrupted and I think it'd break apart."

Conservative MEP Vicky Ford, gave four reasons to remain in the EU: "Economic security, science research, to work with our neighbours on environmental issues and for global security."

You can find further information on the EU referendum here:

EU Referendum debate: What next for David Cameron?

BBC Radio Norfolk

The panel were asked if we came out of the EU, what would be the consequences for the government and would David Cameron continue as Prime Minister?

David Cameron holds a Q & A session ahead of the EU referendum with students in Ipswich
Getty Images

Richard Bacon, the Conservative MP for South Norfolk, who's backing the Leave campaign, said: "The idea to resign the following day is nonsense... we would require a period of calm reflection and stability and there would be no need for his removal in the short term as this would be extra de-stabilising and unnecessary."

Vicky Ford, a Conservative MEP, for Remain, said a vote to leave would create political, economic and constitutional uncertainty: "When we walk out on a group of friends it's not just our thoughts but how they see us when we leave the room... it will not make Britain a safer place if there's chaos on the Continent."

EU Referendum debate: 'Innovative companies say leaving EU wouldn't make much difference'

BBC Radio Norfolk

South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon, who backs the UK leaving the EU, said: "Every big company around the world has offices in Brussels... so that they can influence the legislative economy in a way that helps them... the companies that are the most innovative say leaving the EU wouldn't make a huge amount of difference either way."

EU flags in the foyer of the European Parliament
Getty Images

EU Referendum debate: Science and health research

BBC Radio Norfolk

Conservative MEP Vicky Ford, for Remain, said the East of England had "world-class science", citing the "amazing work" of the John Innes Centre in Norwich and saying she had "not come across a single scientist in seven years doing this job who wants to leave the EU".

She said: "To cure the next set of child cancers, we know we need cross-border clinical trials on cancer and to work with our neighbours... we've set up a system of sharing patient data and information across borders allowing our doctors and nurses in Norfolk and elsewhere, if a child is sick, to work with similar children in other hospitals."

For the Leave campaign, Richard Bacon, Conservative MP for South Norfolk, said a business in his constituency managed clinical trials all around the world, not just in the EU, and that this would continue in the event of a Leave vote "because it's not just in the interests of scientists, but in governments', too."

A surgeon in hospital gowns, performing an operation
Getty Images

EU Referendum debate: The impact on our high-tech sector

BBC Radio Norfolk

The question was raised of the importance of the high-tech sector to the Norfolk economy and how it could be protected if there was a vote to leave the EU.

Luke Morris, of the Leave campaign, said: "People are interested in putting investment into this part of the world because of the scientific resources already here such as at the Science Park at the UEA, and also in Cambridge... it's down to the science and technology."

Andrew Sinclair, BBC East's political correspondent, pointed out that 5,000 scientists and academics have signed a statement backing staying in the EU, 500 of them from East of England, and 19 from the UEA are among those to have signed another pro-EU statement.

Frozen DNA samples in a science laboratory
Getty Images

EU Referendum debate: Impact on local businesses

BBC Radio Norfolk

Richard Bacon, Conservative MP for South Norfolk, backing the Leave campaign, says local businesses are facing problems in exporting because the UK doesn't have trade deals with most of our important trading partners, such as the United States, citing the problems faced by a local whisky producer who wished to export to India.  

For Remain, Prof Neil Ward said a "significant impact of leaving the EU would be the loss of financial support to farmers".

European flags in front of the European Parliament
Getty Images

EU Referendum debate: Would farmers still get subsidies if we left the EU?

BBC Radio Norfolk

Richard Bacon, Conservative MP for South Norfolk, representing Leave, said be believed farmers would still get subsidies if we did leave.

"It takes £6bn to pay farmers £3bn - we could do better if we paid the money ourselves," he said.

A field of wheat with poppies
Getty Images