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Matlock Mercury

What we have written about Matlock Mercury

Downing has right to appeal

Campaigning editor Don Hale is expecting the release of convicted murderer Stephen Downing within days after Downing won the right of appeal against his life sentence. He has served 27 years in prison for a 1974 murder he claims he

Derbyshire weekly poised for decision on Downing case

After more than three and a half years of deliberation, the Criminal CasesReview Commission was today finally poised to make a decision on the future ofPeak District prisoner Stephen Downing. Downing (44), jailed in September 1973 for the murder of

Downing decision: "any time"

The fate of a man convicted for a murder he claims he did not commit could finally be determined within the next seven days. Stephen Downing (44), from Bakewell, is expecting to hear the result of his appeal against his

Union says editor's life has been put in danger

The National Union of Journalists has attacked the Criminal Cases Review Commission for putting a campaigning editor in danger. Don Hale, editor of the Matlock Mercury, has been investigating the case of Stephen Downing – who has been held in

Downing case on TV tonight

The Matlock Mercury’s long-running campaign supporting the claims of innocence for convicted murderer Stephen Downing is to be highlighted in a special feature on ITN’s Channel 4 News programme tonight (Thursday August 24). One of ITN’s top presenters and reporters

New twist in Downing case

The campaign to free convicted murderer Stephen Downing has taken another twist. The discovery of a birth certificate shows the victim, married housewife Wendy Sewell, had a secret love child by another man, according to Matlock Mercury editor Don Hale.

Times takes up local editor's campaign

Editor Don Hale has had the satisfaction of seeing one of his campaigns highlighted by The Times. Mr Hale, who edits the Matlock Mercury, has led a six-year campaign to free Stephen Downing – who he believes has spent 27

Fight for justice

Stephen Downing has spent nearly 27 years in prison for a brutal murder he claims he did not commit. Matlock Mercury editor Don Hale believes Downing is innocent of the crime.Mr Hale has campaigned to bring the case to justice

High Court result at last for campaigning journalist Hale

Stephen Downing, who spent more than 27 years in prison for a murder he always claimed he did not commit, has had his conviction quashed by the Court of Appeal. His case was heard largely as a result of campaigning

Don's amazing year

Campaigning editor Don Hale has described the last seven months as an “amazing time” in his life. His work to win justice for Bakewell man Stephen Downing, after 27 years in prison for a murder he has always claimed he

Speculation threat to Downing hearing

Page 1 of 2 Stories claiming the Stephen Downing case will NOT be re-investigated could prejudice the convicted murderer’s appeal hearing, campaigning editor Don Hale claimed today. A leaked Criminal Cases Review Commission document was reported in a national newspaper

Blair praise for Mercury editor

The editor of the Matlock Mercury has received praise from the Prime Minister for his campaign to win an appeal for Stephen Downing. Prisoner Stephen Downing was set free on bail on Wednesday, pending his appeal, after 27 years in

Downing hearing delay

Lawyers for the Crown Prosecution Service have been granted an extra week to decide if they will oppose bail for Derbyshire prisoner Stephen Downing. Downing, jailed 27 years ago for a murder he says he did not commit, has been

Protest march planned for Bakewell convict

A march to protest at Stephen Downing’s continued detention, after serving more than 10 years beyond his recommended prison tariff, is being planned for Bakewell on Saturday January 20. On the same day the Crown Prosecution Service must give its

Town Without Pity

April saw the launch of award-winning journalist and former Matlock Mercury editor Don Hale’s book Town Without Pity. It tells the story – both skillfully and graphically – of the author’s successful eight year campaign to clear local man Stephen