Six days after Simon Hall was charged with his murder of Joan Albert, Phoebe Grant visited with Simon Hall’s solicitor Alan Cauldwell, along with Shaun, Lynne and Phil Hall.
The idea of the meeting, according to Alan Cauldwell’s Attendance Note, was so they could all meet with Simon’s new solicitor, ‘discuss the further conduct of Simon’s case and give whatever initial helpful information they could’.
The Attendance Note, dated the 31st July 2002, read as follows;
Attending Shaun Hall, Simon’s brother, when he came into my office having travelled down from Ipswich with his parents and with Phoebe Grant, his brother’s girlfriend so that they could meet with me, discuss the further conduct of Simon’s case and give whatever initial helpful information they could
I initially met with Shaun on his own to obtain from him certain background detail which is embodied in a defence witness statement on the file
Having spent some time with Shaun on his own, I then attended Phoebe Grant on her own
She confirmed that she and Simon moved to Hill House Road, Ipswich on the 17th May 2002. She told me that with regards to furnishing, she had some things to bring with her from her mum’s house
She was basically able to bring with her, her bed and a couple of chairs
Simon brought with them a sofa and a chair which she believes was his grandmothers
As regards to what clothing he had at the time, she described him as having a couple of jeans, work trousers, beige pull-over, black fleece and another top coat type jacket
As regards to the black fleece, this was lying in the back of Simon’s Toyota Corolla when she had last seen it
Phoebe accepted that she has only really known Simon since January of this year. During the time that she has known him, he has never behaved in anyway which has given her cause to doubt him or believe that he could have committed such crime as what he has been charged with
Since learning of the police’s interest in Simon’s brown ankle boots, she has been doing her best to track down Graham Harvey who is simply known as ”Harvey”. He (sic) has been to Vicky, his girlfriend’s house. Vicky’s brother answered the door, apparently Vicky was in bed. Phoebe said that she was looking for Harvey in order to try and track down his brother Mark. This was to try and recover the boots that Simon had loaned to Mark via Harvey. After some little while and discussion with Vicky, her brother returned to the door, where Phoebe was waiting and gave three possible contact telephone numbers for Mark.
Phoebe also stated that in the areas, a local tearaway, by the name of Ben Hockley she says is aged about 15, is heavily into drug abuse and was believed to be in Capel St Mary over the night of the 15th to the 16th of December
She has heard about him and it makes her feel that he is far more capable of committing the crime that Simon was. Likewise, there is another Portuguese man whose name she did not recall, who was running with Ben Hockley, who could equally could have been involved
She then recalled that the police had actually taken the black fleece from the back of Simon’s Toyota Corolla last Saturday. That would have been the 27th July
She was concerned about the damage that PC Hutson had caused to their property when he had attended to arrest Simon, and also a neck chain of Simon’s which had gone missing, along with Simon’s credit cards, cash cards and mobile phone. I explained that the mobile phone and cash cards were certainly believed to be amongst the property held by the police, given the cheques that I knew they had run and numbers called on the phone and enquiries into usage of cards
As regards to the other items which she believed to be missing and the damage to the property, she should lodge a written letter of complaint with the local inspector at Ipswich police station so that might be looked into as a separate civil matter to be pursued alongside the running of Simon’s defence case
I asked her what she knew of Simon’s best friend Matt Walton. He apparently has not been spoken to by the police. She thinks Matt’s brother Andrew was under suspicion and may have been spoken to by the police
I then spend some time as I have done with Shaun, and explained to Phoebe how we were putting together Simon’s defence case, what counsel would be instructed and the likely timetabling of events would be how matters would proceed from our attendance at court
Shaun and Phoebe were then joined by Simon’s parents, as I had brought his parents up to speed again on what we were doing to prepare his defence case, what counsel I had instructed and reassuring them all I would be meeting Simon in interview at Norwich prison tomorrow
I then spent some time explaining that part of what I would be looking to do with Simon tomorrow, was take instruction with regard to the making of a bail application next Tuesday. No one could guarantee that bail application could be granted, however I did assure them that we would give it our best effortsAttendance Note dated 31st July 2002
It is not known if Simon Hall, or another member of the Hall family, told Phoebe Grant the sofa Simon took with him to Hill House Road belonged to Simon’s ‘grandmother’, however the sofa had actually belonged to Matthew W’s mother.
Fibres from the black mole skin type trousers linking Simon Hall to his murder of Joan Albert were recovered from this sofa by police forensic officers at Hill House Road, in Ipswich in June 2002.
Matthew W told Suffolk police;
…for reasons which shall become clear I am currently staying with a girl I know as Phoebe Grant at her address in Ipswich. Phoebe is the girlfriend of my best friend Simon Hall and they share a terraced house together
The reason that I am staying with Phoebe is because Simon was arrested in connection with an elderly lady called Joan Albert being murdered in Capel St Mary, Suffolk. Phoebe asked me stay with her as she didn’t want to be there on her own. Also Simon’s mum and dad, Lynn and Phil also asked me to take care of Phoebe. Seeing as Simon and I have known each other virtually all of our lives I was happy to do this. Simon at the moment is in Norwich prison
I think 2-3 days had passed after Simon was arrested that I then went and stayed in his house
..my mum gave Simon a three seater sofa which is mainly blue and may have a small pattern on it. Mum gave this to Simon some between I believe October 2001 and December 2001. This came about when Simon was with me at mums and she was on about getting rid of the sofa and Simon asked if he could have it. Mum also gave Simon a pouffe/footstall (sic) to match the sofa. I actually delivered the sofa and footstall (sic) to Simons mum’s house where it was stored in her garage
Both the sofa and footstool are at Simon Hall and Phoebe Grant’s house. The footstool is in the front room with a throw over it. The sofa is is in the middle room. Both of these rooms are downstairsExcerpts from Matthew W’s police witness statement dated 21st August 2002
Although Phoebe Grant first met Simon Hall in December 2001, she would not have known ’what clothing he had at the time’ or the types of clothing Simon had previously owned.
Simon Hall had previously owned a pair of black mole skin type trousers, before replacing them with another pair from Tesco’s, Copdock on Saturday the 15th December 2001.
Matthew W stated of the previous pair of black mole skin type trousers;
I have been asked if Simon Hall has ever had or has any soft or velvet type clothes. I can say that to my knowledge whilst he was in a relationship with Zoe *******, he had a pair of black ’moleskin’ type jeans which I believe Zoe burnt when they split up
On Monday 17th December 2001 I went to work
At that time I was on site in Dilbridge Road, Colchester around 8.15am
I had been working on this site for several weeks and Simon Hall knew that I was working there and had been there previously
I would say that it was between 8.30 and 9am on Monday 17th December 2001 when Simon turned up where I was working. As far as I can recall this was the first time Simon had called on site at that time in the morning. I said that Simon had been there before and he had but that was usually a lunch-time. He brought me a cup of tea up before now
I was not really surprised to see Simon at that time in the morning. Simon looked upset, he looked a bit ’down mouthed’. He told me that he had been into his work which was State Chemical and said that he needed a couple of days off to be with his mum as there had been a murder in Capel, that it was Joan his mums friend. He said that his mum was upset and he wanted to be there to comfort her
Between December 2001 and now I can honestly say that I have not noticed any changes in Simon’s behaviour, his mental state nor his physical appearance. I should say that this would be up until his arrest
I would describe Simon as being one of the nicest people I know and has been happy lately, just like he used to be when we were about 18 years oldExcerpts from Matthew W’s police witness statement dated 21st August 2002
The ’brown ankle boots’ Phoebe Grant had spoken to Simon Hall’s solicitor Alan Cauldwell about on the 31st of July 2002 were the same ‘pair of chunky brown boots’ she told Suffolk police about in November 2002. Phoebe stated;
About 10.10am on Wednesday 20th November 2002 I was shown a set of photographs by DC 989 Carr marked exhibit NC/14 showing Simon Hall with family
In one of the photographs Simon is seen wearing what I would describe as a pair of chunky brown boots. DC Carr asked me if I knew where they were now
My only knowledge is that Simon had loaned them to a friend of his named Mark ****** I think at the beginning of this year
I cannot recall seeing Simon wearing the boots or what make they were but I know he got them from a catalogue some time prior to my meeting himExcerpts from Phoebe (Hannah) Grant’s police witness statement dated 20th November 2002
It is not known if Phoebe Grant ever actually saw Simon Hall wearing the boots and Phoebe would only have known the boots were purchased via a catalogue after having been told this by Simon Hall or a Hall family member.
However Suffolk police established these boots had been disposed of in a ’council bin’ in February 2002 by the mother of the boy who eventually came to wear the boots after his older brother had given them to him to wear. The mother of the boy who eventually ended up with the boots stated;
Some time in early February 2002 I was aware that Mark my 17 year old son had a pair of brown boots, amongst some other clothing the boots were in a Tesco carrier bag
I noticed them in the cupboard in the living room, at some point Mark wore the boots in my presence
I examined the Tesco bag and found the boots were a pair of brown boots, dirty, leather with cracks on the leather, they were casual ankle type boots with 10 eyelets
The boots were damaged, that is the soles of the boots were hanging off the upper of the boots
I spoke to Mark and asked him if he wanted the boots anymore. He said he did not want them as they were damaged, he told me that I could get rid of them, I did so some time during the end of February/March time of 2002
I placed them in the council bin for collection with the other rubbish. I have no knowledge as to where the boots came from. Mark did not mention where he got the boots from or if he had bought themExcerpts from police witness statement of mother who’s youngest son eventually ended up with Simon Hall’s brown boots dated 9th September 2002
It is not known whether it was Simon Hall or one of the Hall family members, or both, who also gaslighted Phoebe Grant about the ‘local tearaway’ from Capel St Mary and the ’Portuguese man’.
Following Simon Hall’s imprisonment and conviction for his murder of Joan Albert, Phoebe Grant campaigned alongside the Hall family, as was reported here by the East Anglian Daily Times in April 2003.
It is not known why or when Phoebe Grant dropped out of Simon Hall’s public campaign and she did not feature alongside Simon Hall’s ex girlfriend Stephanie Bon and Phil and Lynne Hall in the 2007 BBC Rough Justice documentary. However after Simon Hall married, Phoebe Grant wrote to Simon in August 2009 stating;
I let you down and I know that. It’s me who has to deal with the guilt and I have ever since the first day you went in that awful place. I’ve always felt guilt
I don’t know what lies ahead for anyone but you and me were basically torn apart from each other through no fault of our own. We never had closure and if someone asked me whether I wanted that this second I think I’d say no because at the end of it all I do still love you and always will
Maybe we’ll never be together again but I don’t think how we feel about one another will ever change. So I don’t know. Do we go through life with our partners and just let things go? I don’t think either of us can answer that. We’ve been through too much together and I don’t think anyone will understand that, as hard as they may try. I love Andy too. It’s not easy being in love with 2 people
Your family have behaved shockingly. I’m so sorry to hear they’ve been so neglectful
You’re (sic) mother has always thought she was the victim in all of this. Always always. But I can’t believe she’s actually playing that card to you. Wrong and unforgivable
Listen I’m sorry if I caused you pain. I really didn’t want any harm to you. But I can’t not talk to you. You’re too bigger part of my life and I need you in it
I never doubted you ever. I should have been there always. Forgive me. I am really sorryExcerpts from Phoebe Grant’s communication to Simon Hall dated August 2009
Phoebe Grant’s parents Roger and Sarah Grant hired a private investigator at some point. It is not known how much the Grant family spent on this futile exercise or what the private investigator reported back to them, but Phoebe and her mother Sarah Grant attended a preliminary appeal hearing at the royal courts of justice in March 2010, alongside Stephanie Bon, Lynne, Phil and Shaun Hall, following the CCRC referral in 2009.
Simon Hall wrote to Phoebe Grant in 2013, following his eventual confession to his murder of Joan Albert. Simon stated in another letter;
I spoke to Pauline and Karen on the phone. I asked them if people still believed I was innocent. I told them that I was innocent and that I confessed because I’d given up. I blamed it on drugs
I wrote to Ray, Ian (B) and Phoebe because I thought those people would feed into my lies and want to support me. I would have written to Stef B too, but I lost the letter, or threw it away. I asked all 3 of them if they would like to visit me and bring someone with them. I was in ‘desperate’ mode and was reaching out to anyone I thought might believe me, so I could pretend to be innocent again. More lies, more disrespect and shame to add to my increasing list of wrong doingsExcerpts from Simon Hall’s letter dated 18th October 2013
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