Published: 26 February 2010
by JOSIE HINTON
FRIENDS and relatives of 22-year-old Sam Hallam – who insists he was convicted of a murder he did not commit – were joined by young musicians in a protest outside the Ministry of Justice in Westminster on Friday.
Musicians led by Harry Ogg, student conductor of the Cambridge University Music Society’s symphony orchestra, played classical pieces to draw attention to Sam’s plight.
The protest – entitled You Call This Justice? – included the premiere of a new work, Lost Time, written by London composer Misha Mullov-Abbado and dedicated to Mr Hallam. It focuses on the themes of justice and time.
Mr Hallam’s mother, Wendy Cohen, said: “We just want to get Sam home.
“Living without him has just been a nightmare.
“Five years ago I wasn’t the person I am now, and our family was a different family. It’s destroyed us but we are determined never to give up hope.”
Mr Hallam, a former pupil of Islington’s Central Foundation School in Cowper Close, near Old Street, is serving life for the murder of Essayas Kassahun in Finsbury six years ago.
In February 2008, campaigners presented what they say is extensive new evidence on this case to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), the body which investigates potential miscarriages of justice.
Two years on, they are still waiting to hear if his case will be referred back to the courts.
Paul May, who chairs the campaign, said: “Year on year the Ministry of Justice has cut funding to the CCRC, damaging its ability to investigate wrongful convictions effectively.”
Daisy Hallam, 13, Mr Hallam’s sister, said: “We just want to let people know about Sam’s case, so we can get him home.”