23rd February 2005




Please note this lecture has now been cancelled and will be rearranged at a later date to be confirmed


A campaigner who successfully appealed to free a convicted murderer imprisoned for 27 years and later proved innocent will speak at the University of Lincoln next week.


Don Hale OBE will be guest speaker for the special lecture entitled ‘Should a Journalist Write the News – or Make the News?’ on Monday 28th February in the university’s Cargill lecture theatre.


Hale is Associate Editor of the North Wales Newspaper Group but was formerly the editor of the Matlock Mercury for several years. During this role he bravely campaigned against all the odds for the release of Stephen Downing, who was wrongly jailed over the murder of Wendy Sewell in Bakewell cemetery in 1973.


The case was thought to be the longest miscarriage of justice in British legal history and attracted worldwide media attention.


After Downing was finally released in 2000, Hale gained several awards for his courageous campaigning including Journalist of the Year, Carlton Television’s Man of the Year and the Observer’s Man of the Year.


In addition, Hale was also awarded an OBE and the International Freedom Prize from the London Press Club and International Press Institute.


Hale will also be talking about his book entitled ‘Town Without Pity’, which tells the story of his extraordinary campaign. The book was a bestseller and also the subject of a BBC television drama, 'In Denial of Murder', starring Stephen Tompkinson and Caroline Catz.


A spokesperson for the university said: “We are very pleased to welcome Don Hale to the university and are sure that his work and experiences as a campaigner will provoke much interest among both local residents and students.”


The lecture will take place at 6pm in the main academic building of the university’s Brayford Pool campus. Everyone is welcome to attend and there in no need to book a place. For more information contact Professor Richard Keeble on (01522) 807099 or email rkeeble@lincoln.ac.uk.


Matt Cross, Assistant Press Officer

(01522) 886625                       mcross@lincoln.ac.uk

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