A convicted sex offender will be behind bars for the rest of his life after a judge gave him a full life term for the brutal murder of Wolverhampton district nurse Lisa Skidmore.
Leroy Campbell, aged 56 from Forest Road, Moseley appeared at Wolverhampton Crown Court this afternoon (Friday 12 May) where he admitted raping and murdering the 37-year-old, as well as arson with intent to endanger life and the attempted murder of Lisa’s mother.
Campbell had been released from prison just four months earlier having been incarcerated for 17 years for burglary and indecent assault. He had moved to Moseley from temporary accommodation in Bilston, but on the morning of Wednesday 24 November he subjected Lisa to a brutal assault before killing her.
Campbell had planned his attack at least three days previously when he stole a set of step ladders from a property in nearby Mount Pleasant and concealed them in a public access-way behind Lisa’s house.
CCTV captured a dark figure carrying the ladders and then using them on the morning of the attack to climb up to the first floor bedroom window.
Some two hours later, Lisa’s mother called to check on her daughter, who was off work sick at the time, and, as she entered the kitchen, Campbell grabbed her around her neck and punched her. He then wrapped a cord around her neck and she passed out.
Neighbours soon became aware of smoke coming from the property and, after raising the alarm, rushed to help. The fire service were quickly on the scene, and after taking Lisa’s 80-year-old mother to safety, attempted to resuscitate Lisa to no avail.
A post mortem examination later revealed that she had died from strangulation.
Investigating officer Detective Inspector Harry Harrison, from Force CID, said: “Campbell had sought to cover his tracks by setting fire to the property and even tried to confuse the investigation by leaving a lager can and cigarette butts in the sink bearing a third party’s DNA, but he did not remove all trace of his own DNA from the property and he handed himself in at a police station three days later.”
Lisa’s mother continues to recover from her ordeal and is being cared for by family members, although nothing can spare the family from the pain of Lisa’s death. They were in court and following the sentencing they said:
“The tragic death of Lisa has not only devastated the whole family but also her friends and work colleagues.
“Lisa was one of those rare people who made a difference in the community, first by being a nurse and even more so when she became a district nurse.
“For 19 years Lisa devoted her life to caring for other people, tending to their needs in their last hours, but no one was there for Lisa in her last hours.
“We couldn’t tell you how many people Lisa nursed, helped and cared for during her time as a nurse or lives that she saved, but all were treated with dignity and respect.
“Lisa was one of the most caring, kind and honest person you could meet who also had a sensitive side and would not have hurt anyone.
“To be taken in such a cruel way is lasting pain that the family will have to endure.
“Lisa will always be lovingly remembered and sadly missed by all.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Payne added: “This horrendous crime has had a devastating impact on the many people who knew Lisa, her family, friends and work colleagues and those who lived near her.
“Campbell has refused to give an account of what happened that morning and they may never know, so I hope they can get some comfort from the fact that Campbell will never be set free again.”