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Lisa Skidmore murder: Wolverhampton nurse killer is jailed for life

By Marion Brennan | Bilston | Crime | Published: | Last Updated:

A convicted rapist who brutally raped and murdered a nurse in an attack at her home and then attempted to choke her mother before setting fire to the house has been handed a whole life sentence.

Leroy Campbell, left, has admitted raping and murdering Lisa Skidmore, right

Describing the attacks as 'grotesque', Judge Mark Wall said 56-year-old Leroy Campbell would never be released.

Community nurse Lisa Skidmore, 37, was off work sick from her job at Bilston Health Centre on November 24 last year when Campbell climbed a stolen stepladder to her first floor bedroom and raped and strangled her.

He was in the house in Mill Croft, Bilston, for two hours before Miss Skidmore's 80-year-old mother Margaret arrived to check on her daughter knowing she was ill, said Mr Michael Burrows, prosecuting.

Campbell attacked her from behind, punching her several times in the face. Mrs Skidmore, shouting out for Lisa, was told by Campbell her daughter was tied up upstairs.

"In fact, she was almost certainly dead," said Mr Burrows.

Emergency Services at Mill Croft in Bilston, where Miss Skidmore was killed

Campbell then tried to strangle her with the vacuum cleaner lead, holding the cord tight for up to a minute until she choked and blacked out.

CCTV footage showed Campbell going to the house three days earlier after stealing a ladder from a house in Mount Pleasant and climbing to peer in Miss Skidmore's bedroom window.

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After leaving both women for dead, their attacker set light to Miss Skidmore's bedroom and turned on the gas hob downstairs.

Before leaving through the back door, he placed cans of lager, Red Bull and cigarette ends in the kitchen sink with other people's DNA in an attempt to put police off the scent.

Neighbour Gavin Gilchrist spotted smoke from the house after returning by chance to his home, pushed in the front door and tried to rescue Mrs Skidmore who was slumped by the kitchen door but she told him to go to her daughter upstairs.

He tried to get up the staircase but was forced back by smoke. Another neighbour helped to get Mrs Skidmore out of the house. Firefighters arrived to discover her daughter dead on her bed covered by the duvet.

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A post mortem showed she had died from asphyxia through strangulation. Bruises on her body indicated that Campbell had knelt on her back.

The court heard that on hearing of her daughter's death, Mrs Skidmore kept repeating 'why didn't they just take me, why Lisa?'

The victim's brother and sister described their loss as devastating.

Campbell had been released from prison last July after serving 17 years of a life sentence for indecent assault after he had climbed in to someone's bedroom.

He had previously been jailed in 1983 for the attempted choking of a woman with intention to commit rape and agai,n in 1991, he raped a woman in her home.

The court heard he had told his probation officer six weeks before the latest attack that he was having similar feelings to the time he committed rape.

Miss Rachael Brand, defending, said Campbell was a paranoid schizophrenic who had shown some remorse.

Campbell, of Forest Road, Moseley, pleaded guilty to the murder and rape of Miss Skidmore, the attempted murder of her mother and arson with intent to endanger life.

Judge Wall told Campbell, who appeared in court via video link from Woodhill Prison in Milton Keynes: "Despite your medical condition, you are capable of planning the most serious criminal offences and carrying those plans through with ruthless efficiency.

"You have done so again and again and your behaviour is becoming more abhorrent and sophisticated with time.

"I cannot hold back from passing a whole life sentence."

Marion Brennan

By Marion Brennan
@Marion_EStar

News and features reporter, specialising in human interest and local history stories.

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