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Hackney man’s fight for compensation over miscarriage of justice continues at Supreme Court


Sam Hallam with his mother Wendy Cohen

Hackney’s Sam Hallam is back at the highest court in the land today as he continues his fight for compensation following the quashing of his murder conviction in 2012.

Hallam was jailed for life in 2005, when he was just 17 years old, in connection with the death of Essayas Kassahun a year earlier.

But in May 2012, after Hallam had spent seven years in prison, appeal judges decided the conviction was unsafe and he was released.

Halllam’s subsequent bid for compensation for a miscarriage of justice was rejected at the Court of Appeal in 2014.

The ruling cited a new scheme which requires proof that the basis of the quashing of the conviction “shows beyond reasonable doubt that the person did not commit the offence”.

Hallam’s campaign team fought the decision, saying it breached the presumption of innocence laid out in Article 6(2) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Last year, the Supreme Court granted Hallam permission to formally appeal the 2014 ruling.

That appeal began this morning at the Supreme Court, where it will be heard by seven judges alongside the case of Victor Nealon, who was released from a life sentence in 2013 following the discovery of DNA evidence pointing to another perpetrator.

Hallam will attend the hearing with his mother Wendy Cohen, who campaigned for over seven years for his release.

He will also be supported by two victims of previous high profile miscarriages of justice – Paddy Hill of the Birmingham 6 and Patrick Maguire of the Maguire 7.

Paddy Hill said: “Under this appalling new test the Birmingham 6 would have been denied compensation. We can’t allow this young man to be treated in this way.”

Hallam is also being backed by the Miscarriages Of Justice Organisation (MOJO).

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