(L-R): Paddy Joe Hill, Gerry Conlon, Wendy Cohen (Sam Hallam's mother), Patrick Maguire and Billy Power Photo: © Josh Loeb

(L-R): Paddy Joe Hill, Gerry Conlon, Wendy Cohen (Sam Hallam's mother), Patrick Maguire and Billy Power Photo: © Josh Loeb

CAMPAIGNERS for Sam Hallam, the Hoxton man serving a life sentence in prison for the murder of Essayas Kassahun, sent a petition to Parliament today (15 June) calling for more funding for the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC).

The CCRC, an independent body set up to investigate miscarriages of justice, has had its funding slashed in recent years, resulting in a backlog of cases and the resultant threat that justice might be being denied to applicants.

The 15 June date is symbolic – it is the anniversary of the signing in 1215 of Magna Carta, which promises “to no one will we refuse or delay right or justice”.

Supporters of the Sam Hallam Campaign, including the actor Ray Winstone and miscarriage of justice victims Paddy Hill and Billy Power of the Birmingham Six, Gerry Conlon of the Guildford Four and Patrick Maguire of the Maguire Seven, say that extensive new witness evidence proves Sam Hallam was not at the crime scene.

Patrick Maguire, who was wrongfully imprisoned at the age of 13, said: “It’s time the Government kept the promise made 800 years ago in the Magna Carta and stopped innocent prisoners like Sam Hallam suffering the nightmare of wrongful imprisonment.”

Hackney North MP Diane Abbott presented the petition to the Speaker of the House of Commons.

More information:  Miscarriage of justice victims protest against appeal cutbacks by Duncan Campbell and Maya Wolfe-Robinson, The Guardian, Monday 15 June.

Support us

The coronavirus outbreak meant that the Hackney Citizen was unable to print a monthly newspaper for three months.

We're grateful that we have since been able to resume printing. This would not have been possible without the generosity of our readers, whose donations kept the paper from disappearing completely at a distressing time for residents.

A huge thank you to everyone who gave their time and money to support us through the lockdown, and to those who continue to do so as we slowly recover from the dramatic fall in advertising revenues, on top of the existing challenges threatening the future of local journalism.

A one-off donation or a regular contribution from anyone who can afford it will help our small team keep the newspaper in print and the website running in the coming months and years.

Find out how you can donate.

Thank you for your support, and stay safe.

The Hackney Citizen team