Man acquitted of murder faces new charges

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A man who spent 27 years in jail after being wrongly imprisoned for raping and strangling a Hampshire barmaid is facing fresh charges.

Sean Hodgson was wrongly convicted of the murder of 22-year-old Teresa De Simone at the Tom Tackle pub in Commercial Road, Southampton, on December 5, 1979.

The 59-year-old was only released in March last year by the Court of Appeal after fresh DNA evidence proved he was not the killer.

Now Hodgson, from Tow Law, County Durham, faces fresh charges of rape and sexual assault, allegedly relating to an incident in the North East in August.

He appeared at Durham Crown Court on Thursday where he was remanded in custody.

In making the bail application, Hodgson's barrister Julian Young told the judge Christopher Prince: 'This is a man who has already suffered one terrible miscarriage of justice and he could now suffer another.

'I would hate to see that happen to Sean Hodgson again.'

In September last year police named Teresa De Simone's real killer as David Lace, who committed suicide in December 1988 aged 26.

Lace's body was exhumed from Kingston Cemetery in New Road, Copnor, Portsmouth, in August last year.

Tests later revealed his DNA was a one in one billion match for that discovered at the crime scene.

Lace had confessed to raping and murdering Miss De Simone in 1983 while he was in custody for a series of burglaries committed in Portsmouth.

But investigating officers concluded there were too many inconsistencies in his story. Lace's confession was disregarded until Hodgson's release.

Hodgson is to reappear at Durham Crown Court in February.

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