Lisa Skidmore inquest: Officer 'wanted to recall' sex attacker
Written by The Newsroom on June 17, 2019
A police sergeant wanted to recall a convicted rapist to prison four weeks before he went on to murder a nurse, an inquest jury heard.
Leroy Campbell strangled Lisa Skidmore, 37, at her Bilston home in 2016 – four months after being released on licence.
Sgt Sophie Clement said she asked a probation officer, “can’t we recall him?” after he put his own risk of re-offending at “five or six” out of 10.
But Ms Clement was “80% sure” he would not meet the threshold for recall.
The inquest at Black Country Coroner’s Court is examining the circumstances surrounding Ms Skidmore’s death on 24 November, 2016, and the actions of authorities supervising Campbell, 57.
Ms Clement, a sex offender manager who said she was supervising about 450 cases, visited Campbell on 21 October after probation officer Audrey Spence alerted police about her concerns.
Campbell had been experiencing “high anxiety, low mood and paranoia”, Ms Clement said.
She told senior coroner Zafar Siddique she was “surprised” police had no input in his move 11 days earlier from an approved hostel in Bilston to less supported accommodation at Newell House, Moseley.
Ms Clement said Campbell told her, as he had told Ms Spence, that he had been “seeing open windows” which prompted similar feelings as when he offended.
But she told the court: “It’s not unusual for offenders to share thoughts and feelings, particularly if they have served longer sentences and done therapeutic work.”
He was having “some battles within him”, she said.
She told the jury she knew Campbell had carried out serious sex offences, including one “in the presence of a child”.
“I’m aware he was high risk but he was using strategies he had learnt in prison over a number of years,” she said.
However, she was concerned about him re-offending, although did not regard his risk as “imminent”.
Campbell “was quiet and polite” at their meeting at Newell House, and rarely made eye contact.
“I told him, ‘I am concerned about you and and I’m going to notify every police officer that I can about you’,” she said.
Sgt Clare Mortimer, of West Midlands Police, said an officer saw Campbell on 9 November.
That officer, Det Con Beth Jarrett, said Campbell told her he “felt a lot better” and she did not ask him about his thoughts about re-offending.
“He had normal eye contact and seemed really relaxed and spoke about what he wanted in the future,” she said. “He also thanked all agencies for their help, which kind of surprised me a bit.”
The inquest continues.
Updates from the Cannock Chase Radio News Desk via BBC Birmingham and Black Country