Sam Hallam gets a kiss from his mother, Wendy, on his way to celebrate with supporters
Sam Hallam is greeted by friends outside the Lion and Lamb pub, off Old Street, shortly after his release from prison
Published: 16 May, 2012
by TOM FOOT
WILD celebrations greeted Sam Hallam as he walked into his local pub following his release from prison today (Thursday).
The 25-year-old walked out of the Royal Courts of Justice a free man after the Crown’s legal team threw in the towel at around 2pm.
He has spent more than seven years in prison for a crime he did not commit – the 2004 murder of Essayas Kassahun, who was brutally beaten to death, near Old Street.
A Court of Appeal judge is expected to officially quash the case tomorrow after Mr Hallam was released on unconditional bail.
Mr Hallam told the Tribune: “I’m over-elated – I’m very happy.
“I’m staying in my sister’s room because my mum’s decorating mine. I went to see my uncle. I just wanted to get out the house so I went for some pie and mash.”
The Tribune was invited to join family and friends at the Lion and Lamb pub, near Old Street, where Mr Hallam met his old pals and was reunited with his family.
Mr Hallam was clearly emotional as he meet his five-year-old cousin, Ella, for the first time.
Mr Hallam's mother, Wendy, said she felt “overwhelmed” but praised his lawyers and everyone who had fought for him during his eight-year campaign for justice.
His legal team spoke today of a “disgraceful miscarriage of justice” and a “scandal”.
Solicitor Paul May, who was also the lawyer for the “Birmingham Six”, said: “It was a difficult case. In the Birmingham case we had lots of evidence, but what did we have with Sam? Just a dodgy prosecution.”
Patrick Maguire, the youngest of the “Maguire 7” who has campaigned for Sam’s release, was also enjoying the party that looked set to stretch late into the night.
A full and exclusive report will appear in Friday’s Tribune.