Violent abuser who murdered grandmother with tyre iron jailed for life

Mark Campbell carried out an 11-year campaign of mental and physical abuse towards seven women before murdering Jane Fitzpatrick in Fife.

Violent domestic abuser Mark Campbell who murdered grandmother with tyre iron jailed for life Police Scotland

A violent serial abuser of women has been jailed for life after murdering a vulnerable grandmother he previously threatened to kill and “bodybag”.

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

Campbell had earlier induced his victim to discharge herself from hospital against medical advice before inflicting head injuries on her with a tyre iron.

Ms Fitzpatrick, 48, was the seventh woman who suffered at his hands during an 11 year spree of physical and sexual violence.   

A judge at the High Court in Edinburgh ordered that Campbell must serve at least 27 years in prison before he becomes eligible to apply for release on parole.

Lady Poole said: “Our society will not tolerate domestic abuse against women. The sentences the courts impose on abusers must reflect that.”

The judge said: “The murder you committed was aggravated by it being your partner that you killed and by you being on bail at the time.”

Lady Poole said: “Your car was covered with her blood and there was blood on the wall of a nearby garage.” 

The judge pointed out that the body and head of the murder victim were covered in injuries, with at least 42 fresh injuries.

Campbell, formerly of Glenrothes, in Fife, had denied murdering his partner on August 8 or 9 in 2021 at Cable Road in the town by repeatedly striking her on the head and body with a tyre iron, but was unanimously found guilty of the crime by a jury at an earlier trial.

He was also convicted of a further 13 charges, including rape, assault and abusive behaviour towards women between 2004 and 2021 in Glenrothes, Leven and Kirkcaldy.

Lady Poole pointed out that some victims were assaulted to the danger of life and others were left with permanent marks. 

The judge previously told Campbell that his behaviour had devastated lives and the evidence at his trial was “harrowing and shocking to listen to”.

She commended the courage shown by victims who gave evidence of their treatment at his hands.

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

Before murdering Ms Fitzpatrick he subjected her to an abusive course of conduct over an 11 month period between September 2020 and August 2021.

During it he isolated her from family and friends, threatened her, monitored her movements and her social media accounts and damaged mobile phones.

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 in the car. Following the murder no evidence of emergency braking was found on the vehicle’s tyres.

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

He said when he first awoke it was dark and Ms Fitzpatrick was alright at that time. He said: “I looked. She was sleeping. I could hear her.”

He then claimed that he fell asleep again and awoke to find the victim dead and his car door open. He told the court: “Jane was gone.”

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

A tyre iron was recovered from the Citroen car which was used to inflict repeated blows to the victim.

Defence counsel Brian McConnachie KC, for Campbell, said: “He maintains that he did not commit the offences in respect of which the jury convicted him.”

He said: “It seems to be the case that he grew up in an environment where domestic abuse was very much the done thing.”

Mr McConnachie said: “If he is released at any stage, obviously there will be very significant monitoring of him, having regard to the various offences of which he has been convicted.”

Campbell was placed on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely. Non-harassment orders were made prohibiting him contacting or attempting to contact survivors of the abuse.

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