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E-mail 'hoaxers' face charges

August 15, 2001

Hall's residence. Monmouthshire
The Hall's house was sealed off after Emma Hall was killed

Gwent Police are charging three employees of a Cardiff-based research company with forgery after sending a hoax e-mail to a man who later killed his 12-year-old daughter.

Businessman Philip Andrew Hall who suffered from a psychiatric illness, stabbed his daughter Emma to death as she slept at their home at Whitelye in the Wye Valley in Monmouthshire.

Emma Hall, stabbing victim
Emma Hall: Died hours after father had arrived home
Hours earlier, he had returned back from a failed business trip to India, which had set-up by e-mail, and he was "unsettled" by the incident, the court was told.

Hall was being treated for manic depression and schizophrenia when he stabbed his daughter Emma to death with a single knife wound in July last year.

At his trial last December he said he killed her because he believed she would be reincarnated.

He was cleared of murder by a jury at Swansea Crown Court on the grounds of insanity, but will be detained indefinitely in a secure institution.

During the course of the trial, the jury was told Hall had been unsettled after returning from the trip to India.

He had realised that it had been a waste of time, because it was set up after a series of hoax e-mails to his company - possibly from a rival firm.

At the time of the trial, Gwent Police pledged to investigate the claims.

On Wednesday, the force issued a brief statement saying the Crown Prosecution Service had considered the evidence and had recommended that three people should be charged with forgery.

Their identities have not yet been made public.

Phillip Hall
Phillip Hall: Found not guilty due to insanity

The force statement added that there would be no further action in relation to a charge of an assault via the internet.

It is though to be the first time that such an offence has been investigated.

Investigations are continuing and a date will be set for trial.

Last December, Swansea crown court heard how Mr Hall - subsequently diagnosed as a chronic paranoiac schizophrenic - killed her because he believed it was the only way to save "15 Christian families from certain death".

Prosecutor Neil Bidder QC said: "He was under an insane delusion that he had to stab his daughter in order to save the lives of 15 other people.

"At the same time he was convinced that his daughter would be immediately brought back to life.

"The remarkable aspect of this case is that he managed to hold down a good job through his illness."


Copyright © 2001 BBC News


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