The ‘Affair’, Ghosting & Reinvention of Stephanie Bon – Part 9©️

(Part 1)

Five months after Joan Albert’s murder, Detective Superintendent Roy Lambert made the following public statement;

Someone in Capel is withholding information, maybe deliberately. Capel St Mary is where the final piece of the jigsaw lies

We are using every tool available to us to find the killer in this brutal murder

By Ds Roy Lambert via the Evening Star newspaper article dated 12th May 2002

But it was not just someone in Capel St Mary who withheld information deliberately from the police. There were numerous other people in Capel St Mary, Ipswich and Colchester, which included Lynne, Phil and Shaun Hall, Jamie Barker and Stephanie Bon (At the very least) willing to obscure the truth to protect Simon Hall.

Stephanie Bon believed her and Simon Hall had become ’an item’ by ’October 2001’, whilst he was still in a relationship with Zoe. Stephanie Bon stated to police;

Around October 2001, Simon and I became an item. He used to stay at my house in Colchester, regularly, as it was so much more convenient for work. Over time he left various items at my house

After a few weeks of being together, Simon introduced me to his parents Lynn and Phil. Lynn was really friendly, and it was obvious she thought highly of Simon. Phil always chatted to me too, I think they saw something quite serious in me and we all got on so well

Excerpts from Stephanie Bon’s police witness statement dated 4th September 2002

Lynne, Phil and Shaun Hall were each asked by Suffolk police about previous relationships Simon Hall had had, but all three of them chose to omit Stephanie Bon from their evidence. There was not a single mention of Stephanie Bon’s name in any of their police witness statements, it was as though she did not exist.

Two days after Joan Albert’s murder, Lynne Hall made her first sworn police witness statement. Lynne was the first member of the Hall family to make a statement, she told police;

I live at an address which is known to police along with my husband Philip and son Simon

First sentence taken from Lynne Hall’s police witness statement dated 18th December 2001

Phil Hall was the next member of the Hall family to make a statement, and not unlike his wife Lynne, Phil told police;

I am the above named person and I live at my home address with my wife, Rosemary Lyn Hall, and my son, Simon Hall

First sentence from Phil Hall’s police witness statement dated 20th December 2001

But on the day of his adoptive son Simon Hall’s arrest, Phil Hall had changed his tune. Instead of Simon living with him and his wife Lynne, Phil Hall told the police Simon ‘had a key’ for 8 Snowcroft, Capel St Mary but he would often stay at ‘friends’ houses, Phil Hall stated;

Although neither of the boys lives with us at present Simon did stay last year between October and the end of December when I say stay I mean had a key to our house, it was often the case he would stay at friends houses

Excerpt from Phil Hall’s police witness statement dated 25th July 2002

In reality Simon Hall stayed over at his girlfriend Stephanie Bon’s house regularly, although it is not known exactly what dates Simon stayed over at her house. All three of the Hall family members (Phil, Lynne and Shaun Hall) went into details with regards Simon Hall’s previous relationships, but they all avoided Stephanie Bon.

A woman who started working for State Chemicals in July 2001, and who eventually worked opposite Simon Hall, told police;

In September 2001 a male called Simon Hall joined the company and he worked within the Accounts department. Simon worked opposite myself and I found him to be fairly friendly

Simon began an affair with a Stephanie Bon, who worked for State Chemical, and I didn’t really think this was a very nice thing to do

Excerpts from police witness statement of woman who ‘worked opposite’ Simon Hall dated 20th August 2002

Another woman who also started working at State Chemicals in September 2001, told police;

On 15th September 2001 I joined State Chemicals as a Marketing Assistant. About a month after I joined a new male member started with the firm called Simon Hall. He started in the Accounts department, which was in a different office to mine. I remember that Simon was good looking and seemed a nice genuine guy. He was laid back and always well dressed

Most Wednesday evenings, a group of us would go out into town for drinks and I could remember that Simon came out with us a couple of times

I believe that Simon was a bit quiet on these occasions, but would join in on the conversations. Simon apparently had a girlfriend when he started at State Chemicals

While he was at State Chemicals he started seeing one of the employees, Stephanie Bon

Stephanie was not well liked by most of the staff so that is why Simon did not come out with us very often

Excerpts from police witness statement from another woman who worked with Simon Hall dated 22nd August 2002

Lynne Hall told police about the girlfriend her adoptive son Simon had been living with prior to Stephanie Bon;

That relationship began in March or April 2001

That relationship lasted until just before Christmas 2001, I had even bought presents for Zoe and X

Excerpts from Lynne Hall’s police witness statement dated 25th July 2002

But ’that relationship’ did not last until before Christmas. Simon Hall was in a relationship with Stephanie Bon by October. Zoe’s father, who said in a previous statement he ‘tolerated’ Simon Hall, told police that Lynne Hall had telephoned his house just before Christmas, he stated;

Further to the statement I made on Tuesday 30th of July 2002. I would like to add that I remember receiving a phone call from Lynn (sic) Hall around Christmas. I believe ***** and Zoe spoke to her but I did not speak to Lynn on this occasion

Excerpts from police witness statement of Zoe’s father dated 7th August 2002

And one of Zoe’s brothers stated, regarding ‘Christmas presents’;

One particular occasion, I noticed Simon seemed upset. On asking him what was wrong he told me about his childhood, and the fact he had been physically abused by his parents. He mentioned being hit and burnt by cigarettes, but I did not pry too much

Whilst Simon and Zoe were together, I got on well with Simon and he seemed a genuine nice guy

After the break of the relationship between Simon and Zoe, I remember a time just before Christmas when my parents asked me to go outside to meet Simon, as they didn’t want him in the house. I met him outside in the street and he handed me some Christmas presents for Zoe’s son, X. Simon was visibly upset crying and kept apologising for hurting Zoe and the family. He was by himself and quickly stated that he had to go, got into his grey Volkswagen Golf and drove off

I have only seen him once more, since that incident, which was at the end of last year 2001 or the beginning of this year. I was out one evening in Kartouche nightclub, Ipswich with some family members when I bumped into Simon. He was very aminable (sic) and again apologised for the hurt he had caused the family. Because I knew him before the relationship there was no reason for me to show any animosity and we had a quick chat

Since that incident I have had no further contact with Simon Hall

Excerpts from a brother of Zoe’s police witness statement dated 20th August 2002

Lynne Hall continued;

I think Zoe kicked him out towards the end

There was a lot of problems because Jo continued phoning Zoe and Simon and causing problems. Zoe herself became very jealous and arguments ensued. In the end I think Simon could no longer deal with it, we have spoken about since (sic). I tried to save the relationship as did Zoe’s parents

Excerpts from Lynne Hall’s police witness statement dated 25th July 2002

It is not known if Zoe’s parents ’tried to save the relationship’, as Lynne Hall claimed, but Zoe’s father stated; (As per Part 2)

The only time I spent a lot of time in his company was when he gave me a lift to London to pick up my new car. It is fair to say I tolerated him rather than liked him

Excerpts from police statement of Zoe’s father dated 30th July 2002

Lynne Hall also told police;

As far as Zoe is concerned I remember they had one particularly bad argument on the Saturday night last year when the village celebrated bonfire night. In fact just prior to that Saturday night last year they had argued and split up and Simon was living back home. They went to the village bonfire night with me to attempt a reconciliation, the night went well and everything was OK

Simon ended up taking Zoe home and coming back by himself to our house. After that he went round to a friends house, I can’t remember where or to who, he did get home late. Zoe rang the following morning and because Simon was late up she got very angry about his lack of commitment

I would say that over the Christmas Simon was in a fairly good frame of mind even though he had had the problem with Zoe

Excerpts from Lynne Hall’s police witness statement dated 25th July 2002

During Simon Hall’s police interviews, following his arrest, he told police he had ended up going to Colchester after the Fireworks in Capel, and therefore he was not ’up late’ as Lynne Hall had told police. Simon had spent the night in Colchester with Stephanie Bon.

Below are extracts from Simon Hall’s 3rd police interview from the day of his arrest (Page 27 of Record of interview) referring to Zoe and bonfire night;

  • SJH And when trying to reconcile, everything was great, she said ”OK we’ll give it a go” and then that was Fireworks Night, she came down to the little Fireworks in Capel
  • Dc 1023 Yes
  • SJH With X her son, and everything was great and then she went home and she, her mate was with her, and her mate felt a bit ill. So I, I felt a little bit ill so I decided to go home and then on the way I felt a little bit better, so I just thought I’d go out and see my mates in Colchester
  • Dc 1023 Ah OK. Right. Sorry to hear that. OK. When, just to go on a stage further from there really, I’m just trying to, I just want to sum up. Stephanie BON wasn’t a serious relationship, it was just what they call an ’off and on relationship’ but Zoe was almost a permanent relationship
  • SJH Mmm
  • Dc 1023 Etc and the relationship was terminated due to the fact you went off to Colchester etc and you said that you were ill and you went home, but you didn’t go home you went to Colchester, so it was..
  • SJH She was very paranoid

Simon Hall’s line manager stated to police;

On Monday 23rd July 2001 I started working at State Chemicals MFG Europe Ltd 1 to 4, Eaglegate, East Hill, Colchester as the Finance Manager there

Simon came for an interview and was interviewed for the position by me but on that occasion he was not successful and we took on someone else

He spoke of having a girlfriend called Zoe

…. and wanted to settle down and that he’d taken on several jobs because of that

A further position for a purchase ledger clerk came up at State Chemicals a couple of weeks later so I contacted Cooper Lomaz Employment Consultants to see if Simon was still available

Simon came for the interview and was offered the position which he accepted and started at the East Hill offices on Monday 24th September 2001 as a purchase ledger clerk

About a month after Simon started working there he started seeing the Managing Director’s PA Stephanie Bonn, (sic) I don’t know exactly when their relationship became more than friends but it did become apparent that it was so after a while

In November/December 2001 Simon was involved in the company stock take which took place both in the UK and France. He went to France with four others from the company as our finance representative, Pascal ********, the Operations Manager, went together with other junior staff. They went the first week of December 2001 for about 3 days, going over on the Monday afternoon and returning on the Thursday afternoon I think

Simon had responsibility for the float of French Franc whilst they were away and when they returned he gave me all the receipts and everything seemed to be in order

During the stock take Simon did work one Saturday over at the warehouse in Sudbury, Suffolk. I think that is one of the only occasions he worked a weekend although he could of come in on other occasions that I wasn’t aware of. All of the managers had keys to the premises and could have let him in as did Stephanie Bonn (sic)

We had a dress code at work which was that the first three days of the week we wore smart clothes, suits etc and then the last two days of the week we wore casual clothes and could wear jeans etc on the Friday

…Simon was made redundant and he left the company in January 2002

As I have said Simon was a difficult character to read, I don’t think from what he said that he got on with his dad he thought he was a bit strict and didn’t seem to go out of his way to help Simon when he had monetary problems. He did as I have said seem quite close to his mum but had nothing nasty to say about her. He did say he had a brother

His relationship with Stephanie Bonn (sic) I think was very on/off and I would say from what I know of her that she was probably quite demanding in a relationship

Looking back his work did start to suffer in November/December 2001 when his relationship with Stephanie Bonn started to break up, his work wasn’t as good as it had been previously

I also found that he had a hot-mail address with MSN.Co.UK so he could get E-Mail messages for himself from any computer linked to the internet which the company computer was. He also had the MSN Messenger facility

Its possible he and Stephanie Bonn may have used the hot-mail system to communicate at work as they had been using the internal E-Mail system and we had become aware that they were using that when they should have been working, they also became aware that we knew what they were doing so they may have used the hot-mail system as we were not able to monitor that

I did see some of the E-mails they were sending each other on the company systems which were really only the sort of romantic boyfriend/girlfriend type messages

Excerpts from police witness statement of Simon Hall’s line manager from State Chemicals dated 13th September 2002

During Simon Hall’s first police interview, following his arrest, he initially gave them the impression Stephanie Bon had been his girlfriend, as can be seen from the following extract; (Page 30 1st Record of interview)

  • Dc 1023 How long have you known Phoebe
  • SJH Since about December time
  • Dc 1023 December and when did you start going out together
  • SJH January
  • Dc 1023 January. Any previous girlfriends that you’ve had before Phoebe at all?
  • SJH Yes. A girl called Stephanie who worked at State Chemical
  • Dc 1023 Right. What’s her last name
  • SJH Bon. B-O-N, she’s French
  • Dc 1023 Stephanie Bon, French?
  • SJH Yes
  • Dc 1023 Right. Anybody else?
  • SJH Before that would be Zoe

But by Simon Hall’s 3rd interview, on the same day, Stephanie Bon had gone from being his ‘girlfriend’ to being his ’friend’. (Pages 25 and 26 Record of interview)

  • Dc 1023 OK. I’d just like to go on to a young lady you mentioned called Stephanie BON
  • SJH Yes
  • Dc 1023 When did you meet her?
  • SJH What for the first time?
  • Dc 1023 Mmm
  • SJH That was when I was interviewed for the job at State Chemicals
  • Dc 1023 Right OK. And was it a relationship friend or was it more than that?
  • SJH It was friends. It was friends, she wanted a little bit more but I wasn’t, I’d just split up with the other girl and I wasn’t
  • Dc 1023 Oh yes,, which was Zoe yes?
  • SJH Yes, really like that
  • Dc 1023 So it was nothing more than friends with Stephanie?
  • SJH We were closer than friends, but for everyone (inaudible)
  • Dc 1023 To put it bluntly ’occasional’
  • SJH Yes

However Stephanie Bon gave police a different impression, she stated:

I am the above named person and live at the address detailed overleaf with my brother Olivier Bon, originally from France, I moved to England about ten years ago. Spending my first few years in London, I then moved to Colchester, and have lived at my present address for the last two years

..prior to this I worked for ‘State Industrial Products’ in East Hill, Colchester. Whilst working as the personal assistant for the directors of the company, I first met Simon Hall

Around August or September 2001, Simon joined the company. I remember seeing him walk into the office and immediately thought he was very good looking. Initially we did not have much contact, as he worked upstairs and I was downstairs, but after a short time got talking during our breaks. One of my bosses had informed me Simon could do sign language, this was also one of my interests having learnt it two or three years ago and also spent some time voluntarily helping at a school for the deaf

During our first meeting we just seemed to click. I found it easy to talk to Simon and we got on well. From then on we would often meet up during the day. Both being smokers, Simon would often phone or message me on the computer to meet him for a cigarette break

During our chats, Simon appeared very open and honest. He told me how he had been adopted, and the fact that he didn’t want to contact his real parents. We discussed all sorts of topics, and Simon often told me how he was having problems with his relationship which at the time was to a girl called Zoe

If I would describe Simon in one word, it would be ’Lad’. He was young, good looking and intelligent, and I believed that Zoe wanted more than Simon could give. They often had arguments over the phone, if Simon was late or had not called her

At this time I was seeing a colleague from my office. Simon and my relationship was purely as friends. He made me laugh and we both found it easy to chat to each other, although I would agree that we did flirt with each other too

Gradually we spent more and more time together; cigarette breaks, lunch breaks and sometimes after work. Both working for the company we were insured to drive the company cars. I had not passed my test and was having difficulties with my instructor, so Simon offered to give me some driving lessons. I remember he originally had a Volkswagen Golf, which he sold. He then got a company white Saxo car, which we both drove. Simon used to encourage me to drive and we would go out at lunch times, or after work when I would drive him back to my house. Simon was a very patient teacher, and never once lost his temper. I also remember Simon buying a black Audi, although I think he had problems with thar car too, and didn’t drive it much

Around the end of September 2001, Simon informed me that Zoe and him, had broken up. I was not surprised as Simon had not been happy for a while, and Zoe was always checking up on him. Following their break up, Simon told me that Zoe had threatened to burn his clothes. I don’t know if she ever did, but I believe he had problems and couldn’t get them back. Zoe’s brother also threatened Simon, which really annoyed him, although on my advise he did not get involved and just let it go

Simon then moved back to his parents house in Snowcroft, Capel St Mary. We were still really good friends at this time. His mum helped him out and ordered a number of items of clothing from her catalogue, as he still had not got any clothes back from Zoe

Around October 2001, Simon and I became an item. He used to stay at my house in Colchester, regularly, as it was so much more convenient for work. Over time he left various items at my house, so he (sic) changes of clothes and wash things. I would describe our relationship as generally good, we did argue occasionally, but nothing significant. Simon was a kind and funny person and hated arguing

After a few weeks of being together, Simon introduced me to his parents Lynn and Phil. Lynn was really friendly, and it was obvious she thought highly of Simon. Phil always chatted to me too, I think they saw something quite serious in me and we all got on so well

Simon appeared to get on particularly well with him mum, and I think he desperately wanted to settle down so his dad would think higher or him, although that was not his nature. Simon’s older brother Shaun, seemed very settled. He lived with his girlfriend and their child and also seemed to get on better with Phil. I think Simon thought that if he could settle down and start a family, his dad would think him more responsible and therefore perhaps their relationship would improve

I would describe Simon as very emotional. He was sensitive and did not like to hurt people. Although his youth shone through and he would regularly let me down, by being late, always apologising afterwards. I would say he was in touch with his emotions, and was openly affectionate, often telling his mum that he loved her. Simon was also very intelligent and capable when he applied himself

On Saturday the 15th of December 2001 I remember being at home in Colchester with my brother and old flat mate, Lionel *****, who lived at the house for a year. We remained in all night and I clearly remember this time, as I was meant to be going to a family meal the following day. On the Sunday Simon was off for a meal with relatives and asked me to go along as well. I instantly agreed, looking forward to meeting the rest of the family but, unfortunately Simon did not get around to asking his mum until it was too late. By the time Simon asked Lynne, there was not enough room at the table and I was unable to go along

This had annoyed me and I remember questioning whether the relationship was worth continuing with. I believe Simon said he was going out with some friends on the Saturday night, although I am not sure

Excerpts from first part of Stephanie Bon’s police witness statement dated 4th September 2002

The relationship however did continue..

Link to Part 2 of ’The ‘Affair’, Ghosting & Reinvention of Stephanie Bon’ here


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