Date: 13 Dec 2013
Place: Cranhill Park, Glasgow
Jean Campbell was beaten to death in Cranhill Park, Glasgow.
A man was tried for her murder but acquitted.
She had been out to walk her German Shepherd dog Kai at about 11pm and was later found by her husband at about 7.40am after he went out to look for her when he had got back from a night shift and found all the lights on and Jean Campbell out. She was caught on CCTV footage at about 10.30pm. The police said that they thought that she had been attacked at about 11pm. She had approached the park by walking along Bellrock Street and it was thought that she had been attacked just as she had entered it.
He found her in her a pyjama top and a black coat with her pyjama bottoms and a pair of flip flops lying close by. He said that when he turned her over he found that she had leaves or dirt on her face which he wiped clear and then said that he found that her body was still warm, but that her legs were freezing.
He said that he thought that she was still breathing and so gave her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and then called for the police and an ambulance. He then continued with the mouth-to-mouth resuscitation until the paramedics took over and continued with it. However, he said that shortly after that they told him at she was dead.
It was said that she had been beaten to death with a dog lead. She also had defensive injuries to her hands and arms.
Jean Campbell was 4ft 11in and weighed six stones. It was noted that some years earlier Jean Campbell had suffered a burst blood vessel in her brain which had changed her personality. It had meant that she could feel no pain down the right side of her body and that her temperament in general changed and she would get angry quite quickly and wouldn't suffer fools easily.
The attack, described as ferocious, caused 11 broken ribs, a fractured leg, bruising to her head and neck and a brain injury.
However, at the trial, the prosecution denied that there was any suggestion of a sexual motive for the murder. However, the defence noted that Jean Campbell's pyjama bottoms had been removed and she had an unexplained injury to her sexual parts, suggesting that the attack could well have been sexually motivated.
The man that was tried for her murder, a 21-year-old, was arrested about seven months after the murder along with another 22-year-old man who was arrested for attempting to pervert the course of justice.
He first came to the attention of the police when it was found that he had been out walking his dog at about the same time.
A woman whose living room window faced on to Cranhill Park on Crowlin Crescent said that she had heard screams and a dog barking at about 11pm. She then said that the 21-year-old, who was a friend of her son's, then returned to her house a few minutes after the screaming and dog barking, out of breath and rang her door bell, with a DVD in his hand. However, at the trial it was heard that that was not unusual as he ran everywhere.
When the woman was asked whether she thought that the screams and dog barking were unusual, she said, 'I thought it was a bit unusual, but I still thought nothing about it'.
It was heard that Jean Campbell would sometimes shout at her dog and hit it as it was too powerful for her to control. It was then heard that the 21-year-old that was tried for her murder had been heard to say, words to the effect of, 'I hate her. She is always hitting the dog. How would she like it if I did that to her'. He had been heard to say it twice.
When the woman was asked whether she had confronted the 21-year-old over the allegations that he might have done it, the woman that lived by the park said that, 'He said he didn't want to get the blame'.
It was also noted, that when the woman that had lived near the park was asked to fill in a questionnaire two days later regarding the murder, she had said that she had heard nothing unusual.
The 21-year-old was seen on CCTV at 11.06pm walking back to her house. However, it was heard at the trial that there was no CCTV to show where he had actually come from, it being noted that he could have come through the park or via a whole number of other routes.
Throughout the investigation, the police took more than 1,500 DNA samples from people in the area. However, it was further noted that there was no forensic evidence against the 21-year-old, even though Jean Campbell had fought back and had defensive injuries.
The woman that had lived at Crowlin Crescent and her son and the 21-year olds girlfriend who had all seen him come back shortly after 11pm all said that they noticed nothing unusual about him, such as blood stains or signs of mud on his clothing.
However, following Jean Campbell's murder, rumours began to circulate that he had been involved with her murder and the police bugged his house for four weeks in the hope that he would say something incriminating, but he didn't.
Following his arrest, he said, 'It wasn't me'.
However, whilst on remand in Barlinnie Prison in August 2014 he was recorded on a telephone call to his mother saying, 'What happened to that woman might have been me. I've been hearing stuff in my head. I think I might have hit her once'. However, the evidence was disallowed in court because the recording took place four days after he was diagnosed as having a psychotic illness.
He had also told psychiatrists that God had urged him to plead guilty.
At the trial in February 2015, the 21-year-old man was deemed mentally unfit to stand trial over her murder but also concluded that he had not killed her.
The judge noted that 'A great many hours of work were put into this case by dedicated policemen, including authorised surveillance of the accused's home, but the result of all of it, is in my opinion at least, a weak Crown case. There was proof of a possible, albeit tenuous motive. The accused potentially had the opportunity. There are a number of suspicious circumstances in this case and the accused might have committed the acts referred to in the indictment, but that is not the test'. He went on to say that the Crown case did not convince him beyond reasonable doubt that the 21-year-old man was Jean Campbell's assailant. He then said, 'I appreciate that what I have said might not find favour with the family and friends of Mrs Campbell. In this day and age what I have to say may not be the final word on the matter. No doubt the matter can be revisited if compelling new evidence emerges. However, I can only proceed on the evidence presented to me'.
The 17-year-old youth was ordered to be detained at the State Hospital at Carstairs in a secure psychiatric unit.
Jean Campbell had lived in a flat with her husband in Bellrock Street, Cranhill.