Thursday 15 November 2018

Sex offender raped and killed nurse weeks after warning probation officer he might strike again

Undated handout file photo issued by West Midlands Police of Lisa Skidmore Photo: West Midlands Police/PA Wire
Undated handout file photo issued by West Midlands Police of Lisa Skidmore Photo: West Midlands Police/PA Wire
Undated handout file photo issued by West Midlands Police of Leroy Campbell. Photo: West Midlands Police/PA Wire
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A convicted sex offender killed a nurse in her home weeks after he told probation staff he might rape again, a watchdog review has revealed.

Leroy Campbell raped and strangled Lisa Skidmore, attempted to murder her elderly mother and then set fire to the property in Wolverhampton in November 2016.

Undated handout file photo issued by West Midlands Police of Leroy Campbell. Photo: West Midlands Police/PA Wire
Undated handout file photo issued by West Midlands Police of Leroy Campbell. Photo: West Midlands Police/PA Wire

At the time of the attack, he was subject to supervision in the community having been released from prison four months earlier.

Campbell, 57, of Moseley, Birmingham, had a string of previous convictions for offences including rape, burglary, and false imprisonment.

After he was locked up last year for the rape and murder of Ms Skidmore, 37, and the attempted murder of her 80-year-old mother Margaret, Justice Minister Rory Stewart commissioned Chief Inspector of Probation Dame Glenys Stacey to review the case.

Her report, published on Tuesday, detailed how Campbell was serving a life sentence imposed in 2000 for the latest in a series of violent and serious sexual offences when the Parole Board decided to direct his release in June 2016.

At that stage, he was 11 years over his original five-year tariff, and the review did not criticise the Parole Board's decision.

But the probation inspectorate flagged up a number of "key failings" in the way Campbell was supervised after he was freed the following month.

There were some indications given to probation officers to suggest he remained a risk to women, the review said.

"He said things that could have been taken either way, but when put together they should have given probation staff cause for concern," it added.

However, the "most striking" feature of the case occurred when Campbell was no longer living in approved premises - accommodation used to house some offenders after release.

The report said he had come into the probation office and stated that he was thinking of raping again, and that he had been looking at, or had noticed, open windows.

"In our view that should have resulted in immediate, positive and firm action to protect the public - either an immediate move back to approved premises, or recall to prison," the watchdog review said.

"Instead, Leroy Campbell was left free to commit these terrible crimes. Once he confirmed that he had thoughts of rape, then it is beyond our comprehension that he was left to remain at full liberty."

Lisa Skidmore's sister Alison Parker said authorities should to be held accountable "for their failure to prevent the horrendous murder of my sister".

She added: "As a retired clinical specialist I was held accountable for all my actions as my sister Lisa would have been if she was still alive today."

Prisons and Probation Minister Mr Stewart said: "This was a horrific crime and I have met with Lisa's family twice to personally apologise for the failings in this case.

"While nothing we do can bring back Lisa or compensate for the devastating impact on her family, I asked Dame Glenys Stacey to conduct an independent review to ensure that lessons are learned and to prevent such tragedies from happening again.

"I will ensure that we change our training, assessments and staff management so that these mistakes are not repeated in the future."

Press Association

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News