1. ITV Report

Sam Hallam speaks exclusively to ITV London Tonight

Sam Hallam spent seven years in prison before being released. Photo:

Sam Hallam, wrongly convicted of a violent murder and sent to prison for seven years, has spoken to ITV London Tonight in his first sit-down interview since his release fromprison.

He said he was getting used to adjusting to a “normal level” of life and thanked the people who had been fighting for him all along.

His mother,Wendy Cohen said said blamed “the whole system, all the way through it...a lot of people let him down.”

Q. Howare you feeling, Sam?

Sam: “I’m still in shock but I’m just so happy to be home and I’mhappy that everything is finally over now. I’m just happy to be home. Be herewith my Mum and all my family and everyone who helped me through my time inprison.”

Q. Do you just want to get normal life back?

SH: “Yes. A normal level. I’m not used to having it so I have totake it day by day to try and get there.”

Q. It’sdifficult?

SH: “Yes. Everything is so fast at the minute. Nothing has sloweddown yet. Everything has been so slow for so long but the last 24 hours,everything has all come at once…time from the outside stops in a small closedenvironment.

“It’s quick as well now…everything is fast.“

Q. It’soverwhelming?

SH: “Yes, very.”

Q. Did you miss your siblings?

SH: "Yes... I missed all of them, just as much as each other"

“I’d just like to thankeveryone who helped with the campaign and everyone who was involved in the casewho helped me get out because without them I wouldn’t have got out.”

Q. Peoplehave been out there…

SH: “Fighting for me…yes.”

Sam’s Mum, Wendy Cohen: “Always….rain…even the vigil the othernight. It was wet and they still stood there for hours in the end.”

WC: “I’m glad it’s all over. I’m still in shock. I need to cry.I’m just glad it’s all over and we can say bye-bye to all that.”

Q. What’s it been like everyday for the last seven years?

WC: “Hell…it’s been like living in hell. Cos I knew from day onehe was innocent. The whole system, all the way through it... a lot of peoplelet him down. But he’s home now and it’s all over.”

Q. You were always going to carry on fighting?

WC: “Always. I was never going to give up. That’s the one thingthat came out of this…the friends I met.”

See more of this exclusive interview on London Tonight at 6pm and ITV News at 6.30.

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