Lisa Skidmore: Police officer ‘tried to get jail recall for rapist killer’
A police sergeant tried to get a convicted rapist recalled to prison before he went on to rape and murder a 37-year-old nurse, an inquest heard.
Lisa Skidmore was attacked by Leroy Campbell on November 24 2016, when he climbed through her bedroom window in Mill Croft, Bilston.
Campbell, who was a convicted rapist, was released from prison in the July of the same year.
Detective Sergeant Sophie Clement, who works as a sex offender manager for Wolverhampton Police, was made aware of Campbell moving into a hostel in Bilston in the October.
She spoke with hostel manager and senior probation officer Sonya Blake to organise a meeting with Campbell and, after spending time with him at Wolverhampton police station, DS Clement described him as “quiet” and “polite.”
Little eye contact
DS Clement told Black Country Coroner’s Court yesterday: “I remember my meeting with him vividly and met him at Wolverhampton police station.
"I wanted to have a contact with him, but I wasn’t notified of any concerns for his release.
“He was quite a quiet man, I had to probe him to get information out of him.
“He was just quiet and didn’t make eye contact, it was few and far between."
More from the inquest:
- Inquest told how rapist 'struggled with life out of prison’
- Convicted rapist had 'no need to be in prison' say police
- Murder 'worst possible learning curve' for probation service
- Probation officer 'not told of convicted rapist’s dark urges'
- Family demand answers at inquest: Why was killer out of prison?
She was alerted to his change of address to a hostel in Moseley, Birmingham, on October 19, 2016.
“I noticed on visor, our police system, that he had moved address, I wasn’t aware that he had moved, which was unusual," she said.
“We would normally receive a call from a probation colleague so we could suggest a suitable address, and have an input.
“In around three quarters of cases we would be contacted about changes of address."
A visit was made two days later after a call with probation officer Audrey Spence.
Anxiety and paranoia
Campbell told DS Clement that he was ‘"noticing opened windows" when walking the streets, a comment he had previously made to Ms Spence.
She told coroner Zafar Siddique: "I was informed by Audrey that he had feelings of anxiety and paranoia and I wanted to make contact with him again so I could assess the situation.
“I wasn’t made aware of the comment about open windows until he said it to me.
“Physically I noticed some changes, he appeared to look fitter and healthier, he had a muscular appearance.
“He was quietly spoken and the conversation was led by me.
“He said he had a meltdown the previous Sunday and used the phrase ‘bubble bursting’, and that he had a panic attack.
“I asked him for a score out of 10 of how much of a danger he was to the public and he said five or six.
“I asked him to explain the comment about noticing open windows and he said it was ‘around here’, so he wasn’t talkative and was vague.
“He said he gave himself two weeks to get over how he felt before he would re-offend, and he said he could commit burglary.
“But I was aware he had entered premises before and committed sexual offences, so I made this link."
Concern and frustration
DS Clement, who supervised around 450 offenders in 2016, added: “I was concerned about Campbell, he was a convicted sex offender and was a high-risk man. After the meeting I spoke to Sonya Blake and asked ‘can we recall him?’.
“She said it was a positive thing that he was sharing how he felt.
“The threshold to get someone recalled is quite high and I was 80 per cent sure he wouldn’t be recalled, so that’s why I asked the question.
"I also made it clear I felt it was a good idea to move him back to Bilston.
“I was frustrated that he wasn’t moved back, but I respect the decision of the probation officers.
“I felt the action I took was right and I did it with the right intentions.
“In hindsight, I should have called a professionals meeting.
“I felt we needed more information about the risk and that’s why we tried to get more intelligence to share with the probation colleagues and get him recalled."
The probation officers made the decision to keep him in Moseley on October 24, and shortly after the responsibility for his management was passed over from DS Clement to the team in Birmingham.
The inquest continues.
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