Serial abuser murdered vulnerable grandmother with tyre iron inside car

Mark Campbell induced his partner Jane Fitzpatrick to discharge herself from hospital before killing her in Glenrothes.

Serial abuser murdered vulnerable grandmother with tyre iron inside car in Glenrothes, Fife Police Scotland

A violent serial abuser and rapist is facing a life sentence for murdering a vulnerable grandmother he previously threatened to kill and “bodybag”.

Mark Campbell, 37, was found by police in the driver’s seat of his Citroen car with his dead victim beside him.

Campbell had earlier induced Jane Fitzpatrick, 48, to discharge herself from hospital against medical advice before inflicting head injuries on her with a tyre iron.

Campbell had denied murdering his partner on August 8 or 9 in 2021 at Cable Road in Glenrothes, Fife, and claimed in evidence that he had slept through the attack on her when they were in the car.

A jury at the High Court in Edinburgh unanimously found him guilty on Tuesday of the murder and convicted him of a further 13 charges – 12 of them charges of assault and rape involving six other women.    

The trial judge, Lady Poole, told him: “The jury has found you guilty of serious charges of abusing women and murdering your most recent partner.”

She said six women were to be commended for their courage to come and give evidence of their treatment at Campbell’s hands.

The judge said: “What you did to these women was harrowing and shocking to listen to. Your behaviour has devastated lives.”

Lady Poole told Campbell there was only one sentence for murder, life imprisonment, but she was required to set a minimum term he must serve and she deferred sentence on him for the preparation of a background report.

Campbell began his offending against women when he was still a teenager and subjected them to physical, sexual and verbal abuse before murdering his final victim.

Advocate depute Chris Jones told the court he had an “obsession with infidelity” and accused women of cheating on him.

Before murdering Ms Fitzpatrick, he had subjected her to an abusive course of behaviour between September 2020 and August 2021.

During it, he isolated her from friends and family, threatened her, monitored her movements and her social media accounts and damaged her mobile phones. He also struck her on the head and body to her serious injury. 

During messages between her and Campbell, she had said she could not handle another beating and wrote: “Look at the marks all over me for telling the truth.” 

In another she said: “You told me to f*** off before you killed me. For telling the truth.” Campbell also directed abuse at her, including calling her “a s***” and “a dirty cow”.

Before the murder she went to the Victoria Hospital, in Kirkcaldy, after being sick and unsteady on her feet following a head injury. Staff were told she hit her head after Campbell had to brake suddenly. Following the murder, no evidence of emergency braking was found on the tyres of his vehicle.

Campbell claimed that after she had left hospital they went to an industrial estate but she fell and banged her head. He said he had tried to stem the bleeding and they fell asleep in the car. 

He said he first awoke when it was still dark and said she was okay at that point. He said: “I looked. She was sleeping. I could hear her.”

He said he fell asleep again and later awoke and found her dead, with his door open. He told the court: “Jane was gone.” He said he had tried to perform CPR on her.

Campbell later drove off from the scene but was found by police, sitting in the driver’s seat with his head down. He appeared to have blood on his trousers and around his fingernails.

A tyre iron was recovered from the car, which was used to inflict repeated blows to the head of the victim. She was also found to have sustained extensive fresh bruising.

One former partner of Campbell’s told the court that she had called him “a stoner” because of his drug use. She said that during a confrontation he grabbed an iron and hit her forcefully in the face with the makeshift weapon.

During an assault on her in 2018 at a house in Glenrothes, he also pushed a finger into a healing operation wound on her back and dragged her from a bed.

Another woman said she was subjected to assaults in Glenrothes between February 2003 and June 2004. She was thrown down a flight of stairs and kicked in the stomach when she was pregnant. Campbell also bit her on the head, tried to force drugs into her mouth and forced raw meat into her mouth.  

One witness told the court that the treatment she received at Campbell’s hands was “horrible, really horrible”.

She said: “He hit me a lot. He was verbally abusive to me. He raped me. He punched me, bit me, strangled me. He headbutted me.”

She said Campbell was “really aggressive” after drinking. “He would call me horrible names – s***, b****, w****,” she said, adding: “He was trying to belittle me, trying to put me down.”

The woman said he was “very jealous, very paranoid”.

“He would go through my phone. He would text my friends, pretending he was me, to try to get them to give information I had cheated.”

Campbell, who has previous convictions for violence, was convicted of assaulting six women and raping three of them between 2004 and 2020 at locations in Glenrothes, Kirkcaldy and Leven in Fife before committing the murder.

He was placed on the sex offenders’ register and is due to be sentenced on July 20 at the High Court in Stirling.

Detective inspector Scott Roxburgh said: “This was an extremely violent attack that has left Jane’s family devastated and our thoughts remain with them at this difficult time. 

“Campbell will now have to face the consequences of his actions.

“I would like to thank Jane’s family, friends and those in the wider community who helped officers during this enquiry.

“Violence like this has no place in our society and Police Scotland will continue to work closely with the public and our partners to bring perpetrators to justice.”

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