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Lisa Skidmore inquest: Convicted rapist had 'no need to be in prison' say police

By Jamie Brassington | Bilston | Crime | Published:

A police officer said there were "no grounds to keep a convicted rapist in prison" - before he went on to murder a nurse.

Lisa Skidmore, and right, Leroy Campbell

Leroy Campbell had been on day release and progressing well with his rehabilitation before he was released from prison on license in July 2016.

However four months later, he went on to rape and murder Lisa Skidmore at her home in Mill Croft, Bilston, in November.

Evidence was given from Pc Jayne McNally at Black Country Coroners Court about how the authorities viewed Campbell’s condition before he was released.

She revealed that assessments showed he was making good signs of rehabilitation behind bars.

He had been in prison for 16 years on a public protection prison term before he was released on license. Campbell was previously denied parole five times.

“He was undergoing day release,” said Pc McNally in the statement read out in court by coroner Zafar Siddique.

“He was engaging in the prison regime and in prison risk programmes. He was supported for release.

“There was no further ground to keep Campbell in prison.”

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He was being looked after by the probation service when he was released.

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Campbell was initially placed into a hostel in Bilston - after his release on July 25, 2016 - where he was deemed a model resident.

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He stayed there until October 10 when he was moved by the probation service to a hostel in Moseley, in Birmingham, so he could be closer to his family.

Once outside prison Campbell made remarks that caused concern, including telling a police officer that he would reoffend in two weeks if he did not get over certain feelings.

Campbell was tearful when he met with the probation service admitting that he felt isolated and was noticing open windows - alluding to committing sexual crimes, probation officer Audrey Spence told the court.

The inquest heard that Campbell’s admission - that he could reoffend within two weeks - was not passed to his probation officer, Laurence Watkins, who had been on holiday.

But that information had been emailed by the police to a number of people including Ms Spence who was covering for Mr Watkins. Ms Spence said she had not gone through her emails properly due to a personal situation.

It meant that this information was not taken into consideration during Mr Watkins’ risk assessment of Campbell.

At the time when Campbell murdered Ms Skidmore, probation officers were facing high work loads and morale was low, Black Country Coroners Court was told on Thursday.

Alison Moss, a senior probation officer, told the court: “Moral was pretty low. People could not keep up with the volume of work.”

She had signed off the risk assessment which was carried out by Mr Watkins.

When quizzed about the work load of the probation service, she said she looked after 400 cases saying it was “impossible to know the intimate knowledge of each case.”

The inquest, which began on Monday, is exploring the circumstances around Ms Skidmore’s death and failings by the authorities in dealing with Leroy Campbell.

The hearing continues.

Jamie Brassington

By Jamie Brassington
Senior Multi-Media Journalist - @JamieB_Star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star. Contact me at jamie.brassington@expressandstar.co.uk.

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