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Lisa Skidmore murder 'worst possible learning curve' for probation service

By Jordan Reynolds | Bilston | Crime | Published:

A probation officer who dealt with a convicted rapist who later murdered a nurse said it has been “the worst possible learning curve” for the service, an inquest heard.

Lisa Skidmore, and right, Leroy Campbell

Lisa Skidmore, aged 37, was raped and killed by Leroy Campbell on November 24, 2016, after he climbed into her bedroom window in Mill Croft, Bilston.

Campbell, a convicted rapist, had been released from prison that July in a move which saw the probation service criticised for committing ‘appalling mistakes’.

He had spoken of wanting to rape again and had given himself “two weeks until striking again” but was not recalled to prison.

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Probation officer Audrey Spence told the inquest that Campbell would have been recalled if they had all the information they now know.

She said: “If we had the information that we have to hand now he would have been recalled. I wasn’t aware of the statement he made.

"This individual is never not going to have these feelings, whether that’s inside prison or outside a prison.

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"This has been the worst possible learning curve for the service.

"A family had somebody taken away from them in the most horrendous way.”

But Sarah Hemmingway, on behalf of Ms Skidmore’s family, said that in an email from the police to a number of people including Ms Spence, it detailed how Campbell had a panic attack and broke down in tears and since then he had been “fighting negative thoughts of being trapped, isolation and reoffending”.

The email also said he was “giving himself two weeks and would either get through that or reoffend”.

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Ms Spence said she had not gone through her emails properly “due to a personal situation”, and that she “genuinely hadn’t read that far”.

Ms Spence had gone to a senior probation officer Roderick Jones when Campbell turned up to a meeting on October 17 and talked about feeling isolated.

Mr Jones told the inquest that at that point the idea of recall “did go through his mind”, but there were no breaches of his licence and he had come in and talked about how he felt.

He added: “I didn’t think recall was appropriate in those circumstances. I advised Audrey to increase the frequency of his visits and to go and speak to the police offender manager.”

Campbell strangled Lisa Skidmore after climbing through the bedroom window of her home and raping her.

He also attempted to murder her elderly mother in 2016. A jury at an inquest is now examining the circumstances around Ms Skidmore’s death and failings by the authorities.

Campbell, a paranoid schizophrenic, was given a life sentence on May 12, 2017.

The inquest continues.

Jordan Reynolds

By Jordan Reynolds
Reporter - @jreynolds_star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star.

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