The three women fighting to clear their loved ones’ names

The Guardian home

What is it like if your brother or son is convicted of murder when you are convinced they are innocent? We meet three women who have fought for years to prove their loved ones’ innocence

Wendy Cohen sits at a living-room table crammed with campaigning literature. There are photographs of the time they took a bus to prison to celebrate her son Sam’s 21st birthday, newspaper interviews, a documentary made with Trevor McDonald. All of this helped to clear Sam Hallam’s name last year.

Hallam was sentenced to life for the murder of trainee chef Essayas Kassahun in a gang attack in east London in October 2004. He was one of two men convicted of the killing after a “joint enterprise” prosecution in which there had initially been nine defendants. The joint enterprise law is harsh and uncompromising: if your presence, knowledge or actions lead to a serious crime such as murder, you, too, could be charged with it.

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