Monday, 29 December 2008

Horrett Campbell Entered the Playground

On 8 July 1996, Horrett Campbell entered the playground of St Luke's infants' school in Blakenhall, Wolverhampton, armed with a machete and attacked everyone he came into contact with.

This is how a BBC report of 5 December 1996, described the events of that day:

"A nursery assistant who was badly injured trying to save children from a machete attacker relived the horror in court yesterday, swinging the blood-stained weapon over her head to show how he slashed his way into the kindergarten. Lisa Potts, 20, who was still a teenager when Horrett Campbell struck at St Luke's infants' school in Blakenhall, Wolverhampton, on July 8, described the panic as he attacked during a teddy bears' picnic in the playground.

'His teeth were gritted with anger, as if in a laugh. It was crazy. The children were hanging on to my skirt and some of them went underneath the skirt, they were so frightened. He just struck right down, going for my head and I put my arm up to protect'.

Campbell... faces seven charges of attempted murder, four of adults and three of children... He... was 'misunderstood by society'. He also thought that the children at St Luke's had once jeered at him...

Miss Potts, who has received awards for her heroism, received the most severe injuries of all as she tried to push the children, aged 3.5 to 4.5, to safety under a rain of blows from the machete's 16in blade... Mr. Wakerley said:

'You may well be astonished by the courage of that young girl... but for her action this tragedy could have been so much worse'.... The machete still carried various words inscribed by Campbell, including the phrase 'you filthy devils', and a swastika. Another inscription was '666 marks the Devil'. During the attack Horrett carried a sports bag containing a Fairy Liquid bottle full of petrol. He wore a tweed deerstalker with two screws sticking out like horns and a black cross on the side.

Mr Wakerley told jury members that, even if they considered that Campbell had been mentally unbalanced at the time of the attack, he could still be found guilty of attempted murder.

Miss Potts described how Campbell had first hit two mothers who were waiting in the playground as the children prepared to go home. Then he turned on the children, slashing Francesca Quintaine, four, so violently that he sliced off her ear, tore open her face from ear to mouth and broke her jaw. Miss Potts said:

'I was clearing up and putting things into a basket and saw a man running from the corner of the fence. He went to attack one of the mums who was walking to collect her kid from the infants. He was carrying a machete. He came to the mum and basically belted her over the head. She was lying on the floor and then I heard Miss Halles say: 'Quick, grab some of the children'. I started running with them. The man leapt over the fence and attacked one of the other mums, Surinder Chopra.

'He came again with it and went down on to her head. It was crazy from then on. Children were holding on to my skirt and some of them went underneath. They were hiding with fright. I started running with the children to try and get into the nursery door, but before I knew it the man came at me with the machete. As I started to run in, he lashed out at Francesca - straight across the face. Her face just opened.

I was just running for the door and had two children under my arm. I got inside the nursery and dropped the children and as I went to shut the door his foot was in it and he was inside. I pushed one of the children into the dressing-up area behind the door and put my arms around the others as he attacked me again. He came again with the machete and started attacking my back. I think he hit me twice.

I realised as I turned round that he was going for the little boy. The other children had run off to the outside door.

He went for Ahmed across the head. I went to pick him up and he cut my arm again. There was another blow to Ahmed on the arm as he fell to the floor. I couldn't pick him up. I ran around the side of the water tray in the nursery and I then felt the blow on the head. That's the one I felt the most'.

Despite being hit, she continued running. 'I didn't look back', she said. It was only when the children were safe that she realised she was covered in blood. Miss Potts was sliced six times in all, including the blow to her head which chipped the skull."

On 10 December 1996, the BBC continued:

"Horrett Campbell was seen by his neighbours as nothing more than a brooding misfit in a tweed deerstalker. But yesterday the loner from the sixth floor was found guilty of the attempted murder of three children, three mothers and a nursery assistant whom he attacked with a machete during a school's 'teddy bears picnic'.

Campbell, 33, lived across the road from St Luke's infants school in the inner-city district of Blakenhall in Wolverhampton. In his local pub, the Glassy, the regulars knew him as 'Izzie', a jobless no-hoper who spent much of his time working on an untaxed Volvo. The other residents of Villiers House, the 10-storey block of council flats where he lived, would prefer not to share the lift with him.

To the police, who knew him as an 'occasional customer', he was flagged as one to watch since an incident in June 1995 when he was jailed for two months after being found with a machete strapped to his leg. But, as Det. Supt Sandy Craig, the head of Wolverhampton CID, pointed out, any big community can throw up a thousand misfits. Campbell was seen as a pathetic figure, not a dangerous one...

Since the attack on July 8, the people of Blakenhall have struggled to rationalise what seemed a sudden aberration. But a psychiatrist told his trial that Campbell's paranoid schizophrenia had been fermenting for years. He... took overheard casual remarks as personal affronts and misinterpreted random events as a conspiracy against himself.

It took one more motoring prosecution, he had been due to appear before magistrates in August charged with driving without a licence, tax or insurance, to turn inner fury into violence. He had also found a role model in Thomas Hamilton, the Dunblane killer. Campbell kept a press cutting about Hamilton's school massacre prominently taped to his bedroom wall along with another about Martin Bryant, the Tasmanian mass killer.

As he planned his attack he took his deerstalker, adapted it to provide a stormtrooper-style chinstrap and pushed wood screws through the crown so they stuck out like horns. It was only a moment's walk to the school. Vaulting the playground wall, he unzipped a bag, pulled out the machete inscribed with the words 'You Filthy Devils' and began his attack.

Campbell, who was born in Wolverhampton of West Indian parents... He... clung to a dream of a gambling win that would bring him a girlfriend and a big house.

He grew increasingly eccentric, toying with astrology, taking a sinister interest in devils and Nazism, and tinkering with toy guns and firebombs. In December, 1994 he set fire to his car, apparently because it would not start, and was prosecuted for arson with intent to endanger life. He was fined."

Mr Justice Sedley, passing sentence at Teesside Crown Court, praised Lisa Potts' courage and said:

"Without doubt, Miss Potts save the lives of some small children. It is now many months since the incident and it seems surprising that Miss Potts has not yet been sufficiently recognised for bravery."

The Daily Telegraph said:

"He attacked Wendy Willington, 29, before lashing out at two other mothers, Azra Rafiq and Surinder Chopra. Then he turned his attentions to Ahmed Malek, three, Rhena Chopra and Francesca Quintyne, both four, and inflicted severe injuries to Miss Potts.

Campbell believed his actions would help to exorcise a ghost which had been dominating him for years. He believed children were whispering and making snide remarks about him and that their parents were informing police about him."
I don't like PC people, I guess you've probably figured that out by now.

My prayer for all you PC sneerers who've managed to foist creatures like Horrett Cambell on the rest of us against our wishes over the years, is this: if the Horrett Campbells of this world must be housed across the road from an infants' school in Britain, I hope it's the school that your children attend. God knows I wish your kids no harm. But if somebody's got to suffer because of the suicidal hatred that their parents feel for their own great tribe, rather their own offspring than anyone else's.

Altogether, 18 children and 4 adults were hurt in Campbell's attack.

After an inordinately long wait, Lisa Potts was awarded the George Medal for her bravery.

It is, perhaps, interesting to note that, though there were other adults there at the time, Lisa, who was mother to none of the children, was the only one to be commended for her bravery that day.

Most of those present were recent immigrants and, as far as I'm aware, all of the children who were protected by Lisa Potts were of recent immigrant origin.

A brave and beautiful English girl is pictured below alongside the self-pitying loonytune who almost killed her.

No comments:

Post a Comment