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Probation officer 'not told of convicted rapist’s dark urges before murder'

By Jamie Brassington | Bilston | News | Published:

A probation officer was not told that a convicted rapist had given himself “two weeks until striking again” before he raped and murdered a nurse, an inquest heard.

Lisa Skidmore, and right, Leroy Campbell

Leroy Campbell, who was on a licensed release from prison, told police officers and the probation service that he was “noticing windows” and was thinking of committing rape, Black Country Coroners Court was told.

A month later, following his remarks in October 2016, he raped and murdered district nurse Lisa Skidmore after climbing into her Bilston first floor bedroom.

But in the weeks leading up to the attack, Campbell’s probation officer Laurence Watkins, who had been on holiday, was not informed of Campbell’s negative thoughts.

It meant Mr Watkins did not take this into account during a risk assessment of Campbell.

If that information had been passed on, intervention could have been made on Campbell and he could have even been recalled to prison, Mr Watkins told the court.

Sarah Hemingway, representing Ms Skidmore’s family, asked Mr Watkins: “Were you aware he had given himself two weeks to get through his feelings or reoffend?”

Mr Watkins replied: “No.”

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Ms Hemingway continued: “That is quite staggering for a high-risk offender. Is this information you think you should have known? Is it something you could have fed into a review (of Campbell).”

Mr Watkins replied: “Yes.” Asked if this would have led Campbell to being recalled, Mr Watkins said: “It would have been guided by what senior management said.

“With the information we were given at the time, his risk to the public was not deemed to be imminent or increasing.”

Campbell had requested for parole five times before his release.

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He had been in prison since 2000 on a 16-year ‘public protection’ prison term.

Mr Watkins said Campbell had been making excellent progress in prison before his release.

He was considered a ‘model resident’ at the Bilston hostel where he was restricted to a curfew.

The inquest continues with a jury at court.

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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