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Hero award for crusading newspaperman

Campaigning journalist Don Hale has been nominated for a British Gold Hero Award in honour of his work to win justice for Stephen Downing.

The awards, this year sponsored by SAGA, are given to people over the age of 50 who display bravery and courage. Don qualifies because he is 50 later this year.

James Murray, executive director of the awards, said: “The awards are recognised as an important and prestigious national tribute to the over fifties. They are rapidly helping to change the public perception of mature people.

“Don Hale is a crusading newspaperman who has spent eight years fighting for justice to free a man who spent 27 years in jail for a murder he did not commit.

“That man was Stephen Downing who only this year was cleared of murder.

“Don has been nominated for an award for the bravery and skill he displayed in the struggle to win justice for Stephen.”

Speaking about the award, Don said: “It is a great honour. I am pleased my long running campaign proved successful not only for Stephen Downing – but also for British justice.

“It is has highlighted many anomalies within our judicial system and proves that one man can challenge and change an established system.

“Although this will be 15th award – I feel this nomination is that little bit special. It’s a great honour to be considered a national hero.

“And I hope my work helps encourage other journalists to develop their investigative skills.”

  • The British Gold Hero Awards were introduced in 1996 when two elderly sisters from Sussex were given medals for rescuing a couple from their sinking car which had crashed into the swimming pool of their bungalow in the Channel town of Scaford.

    The ladies jumped into the pool after them and pushed the car to safety at the shallow end, saving their lives.

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