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Summary

  1. Convicted murderer Simon Hall took his own life, inquest finds
  2. Weybread murder suspect Ali Qazimaj appeals against extradition attempt
  3. Syrian refugees talk about life in Suffolk
  4. Updates on Monday, 20 June 2016
  5. News, sport, travel and weather updates resume on Tuesday at 08:00

Live Reporting

By Andrew Woodger

All times stated are UK

Our live coverage across the day...

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

Today's main news has been a jury deciding convicted murderer Simon Hall killed himself in prison.

We'll start again at 08:00 tomorrow, but for now we'll sign off with more pictures from the Great East Swim at Alton Water, where about 2,000 people donned their wet suits and swam between half a mile and 10km for their chosen charities.

Warming up....

Great East Swim
Great Swim/Mark Witter

Taking the plunge....

Great East Swim
Great Swim/Mark Witter

Back on dry land...

Great East Swim
Great Swim/Mark Witter

Jury selected for ex-teacher's sex offence trial

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

The jury has been sworn in for the trial of a former teacher accused of 29 sex offences against pupils at a private boarding school in Suffolk.

Gerard Singer, 69, of Elnes, Nord-Pas-de-Calais in France, taught at St George's School in Great Finborough, near Stowmarket, in the early 1980s, when the offences are alleged to have taken place.

Ipswich Crown Court
BBC

The trial at Ipswich Crown Court is due to get under way tomorrow morning.

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.

Forecast: Showers clearing

Julie Reinger

BBC Look East weather

The last of the heavy and possibly thundery showers will clear to the south-east and it’ll be a largely dry night with clear spells.

East weather forecast
BBC

Tomorrow will be mostly dry, with just the small chance of a shower and highs of around 21C (70F).

Visit BBC Weather for more details.

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."

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.

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.

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. 

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.

A quick sprint up the coast to Minsmere...

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

After an indoor afternoon show at Snape Maltings, the four-concert performance of Messiaen's Catalogue d'Osieaux took over the BBC Springwatch set at RSPB Minsmere for the dusk section.

Aldeburgh Festival at RSPB Minsmere
Aldeburgh Music

The whole piece lasts 150 minutes and depicts 77 species of birdsong.  

The night section of the performance ended back at Snape Maltings.

Aldeburgh Music
Aldeburgh Music

Aldeburgh Festival comes to RSPB Minsmere

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

The Aldeburgh Festival brought a different taste of birdsong to RSPB Minsmere at the weekend.

Pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard performed four concerts celebrating Olivier Messiaen's Catalogue d'Oiseaux in four different locations.

Aldeburgh Festival 2016
Aldeburgh Music
Pierre-Laurent Aimard
Aldeburgh Music

It started at dawn, with a walk around the River Alde marshes at Snape Maltings and a recital inside the buildings.

BBC's swimming stars join Great East Swim

While we wait for news from the Simon Hall inquest, let's look back at Saturday's Great East Swim, which featured a BBC team among the 2,000 swimmers.

Great East Swim 2016
BBC

Entrants could raise money for their chosen charities.

The BBC East team of nine recorded an average time of 36m 40s for the mile-long course at Alton Water, just south of Ipswich.

Pictured here are (l-r) Sue Doogan, John Fairhall, Sally Beadle, Jo Taylor and David Webster.

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.

Search still ongoing for Sylvia Stuart

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

Police say the search for Sylvia Stuart continues, as they wait to see if a 42-year-old man, who they want to question, successfully appeals against an attempt to extradite him from Luxembourg.

Officers from Norfolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire have joined the search for Mrs Stuart, whose husband's body was found near to their home in Weybread on 3 June.

Mill Lane, Weybread
BBC

Det Ch Supt Simon Parkes said: "We will await updates from Luxembourg with regards to the extradition progress. However, here in the UK the focus continues to be on locating Sylvia.

"At this stage we are treating her disappearance as a murder inquiry."

Weybread murder: Waiting game for Suffolk Police

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

Officers taking part in a double murder inquiry will now play a waiting game to see if a suspect can be brought back to Britain.

Ali Qazimaj, 42, who had been living in Tilbury in Essex, was arrested by the authorities in Luxembourg on Thursday.

Sylvia and Peter Stuart
Suffolk Police

Suffolk Police wants to question him about the murder of Peter Stuart, from Weybread, and the disappearance of his wife Sylvia Stuart.

A police spokeswoman said Mr Qazimaj appeared in court on Friday and "will now be subject to the appeals process in Luxembourg".

Murder suspect to appeal extradition

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

A man who left the UK after a body was found in north Suffolk is to appeal against an attempt to bring him back to Britain.

Ali Qazimaj
Suffolk Police

Peter Stuart's body was found in Weybread on 3 June, while his wife Sylvia is still missing. Police are treating it as a double murder inquiry.

Ali Qazimaj (pictured), 42, who had been living in the Tilbury area of Essex, was detained by the authorities in Luxembourg after he was found in a hostel there.

BreakingWeybread murder suspect to appeal against extradition attempt

A man arrested in Luxembourg over a murder and suspected murder in Weybread is contesting an attempt to extradite him.

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.

Cricket: Rain disrupts play in Bury

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Suffolk's cricketers are being hindered by the wet weather on day two of their latest Minor Counties Championship match in Bury St Edmunds.

Tom Huggins and Martin Cull have only been able to add 14 runs to their overnight score, and when the conditions improve will resume on 47/1.

They're chasing Northumberland's first innings total of 334 for 9.

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."

Speedway: Governing body to investigate Mildenhall postponement

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Mildenhall Fen Tigers are likely to be punished after calling off yesterday's meeting against Cradley because of a "heat of the moment decision" by promoter Kevin Jolly (pictured centre).

Kevin Jolly
Mildenhall Fen Tigers

When BBC Suffolk Sport contacted the British Speedway Promoters Association, we were told: "This matter will be reviewed by the Speedway Control Bureau and, therefore, there is no further comment to be made at this stage."

Jolly, who is said to be struggling with "personal and club issues", is now taking a break from the sport.

Town favours remain - poll

Ipswich Star

Here's a look at the front page of today's Ipswich Star, which says the county town is in favour of remaining in the EU...

View more on twitter

Cricket: Suffolk chasing 334 in Bury

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Suffolk's cricketers will start day two of their latest Minor Counties Championship match on 33-1 against Northumberland in Bury St Edmunds.

The visitors recovered from 140-5 at lunch yesterday to make 334-9 from their 90 overs, with Tom Rash claiming three victims.

Captain Tom Huggins and Martin Cull will return to the crease this morning, after Nathan Poole was dismissed for nine.

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.

Refugees selected 'very carefully', says town's MP

The Ipswich MP Ben Gummer says the three Syrian refugee families who have arrived in Suffolk have been selected because they are most in need.

Ben Gummer
Leon Neal/AFP/Getty

They are part of the UK government's resettlement programme.

Mr Gummer, who is on the Conservative government's Syrian refugee ministerial committee, said: "Many will be women, children, have disabilities or sickness.

"It is a controlled programme and the applicants are chosen very carefully in the refugee camps, and then we are able to provide the support here in the UK."

Refugee families can get benefits

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

The charity working with the first three Syrian refugee families to arrive in Suffolk says they are able to apply for state benefits.

The Suffolk Refugee Support charity said the families had been selected by the UK government because they were the most vulnerable, and came from places including refugee camps in Iraq.

Rebecca Crerar, one of the charity's workers, said: "There is funding for the first year and part of our work is to establish who can work when they're here.

"They will get benefits, so it's a little bit easier for them as opposed to some who've arrived as asylum-seekers."

Refugee charity talks of 'very similar stories'

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

The Suffolk Refugee Support charity has been working with the first three Syrian families to arrive in the county under the UK government's resettlement programme.

Refugee camp in Iraq
Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty

Rebecca Cerar, one of the charity's workers, said: "The stories are very similar - loss of family members, torture in some cases and an absolute fear to live in that country because they just can't any longer.

"We try our best to be welcoming, and with the Syrian families we've hooked them up with befrienders which has worked really well."

'I want to complete university and study'

Syrian refugee Shireen, 19, has been speaking about her new life in Ipswich, where she is now settling after a long time travelling from city to city in Syria and Iraq.

Her family is now staying in a house in the town as part of the UK government's resettlement programme.

Refugee camp, Iraq
Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty

She said: "We leave and we don't bring anything - it's hard but we must find a way to live and smile. 

"I want to complete university, study and be somebody."

Teenage Syrian refugee receives 'welcome' in Ipswich

Jon Wright

BBC Radio Suffolk

A 19-year-old Syrian woman has been talking about the warm welcome she has received in Suffolk since her family arrived from a refugee camp in Iraq.

Cornhill, Ipswich
BBC

Shireen, a Kurd, said: "In Ipswich they make food, eat with us and explain we are welcome. 

"When you see somebody smile and want to help you, you forget something's wrong and not good in your life."