doc

A LOVING mother pleaded with a court not to send her son to prison – even though he had tied her up and throttled her to get cash to feed his drug addiction.

Terrified Myra Campbell thought she was going to die when Robert Campbell bound her body and mouth with tape and wrapped a bike chain around her wrists.

When police found her they were “shocked and appalled”. She was hunched over a bowl of water, her whole face bruised, her jaw out of line, her nose broken and her mouth was bleeding.

In a report, an officer said: “I thought she might die from her injuries or the shock of her ordeal. The image I have of her sat in the hallway brutalised beyond belief is one that I will never forget."

Winchester Crown Court heard that it was the fifth time Campbell had targeted her. He had throttled her so hard she suffered severe bruising at the back of her throat making it difficult to swallow. He also bit her ear so hard it left a clear teeth mark.

Despite that, Mrs Campbell didn’t want her son to be punished – she wanted him to get help.

The court heard that “she loves him very much and something must have happened to drive him into a frenzy”.

Mrs Campbell wrote three letters to the court telling of her love for her son, describing him as a vulnerable person and saying his “dramatic and violent mood swings” needed treatment.

Campbell, 33, had only been out of prison for two days after serving time for burglary when he struck again, the court heard.

The court was told how he had threatened his mum with a knife until she revealed her cash card number and gave him the details for his grandmother’s account too as he wanted money to pay off a debt.

Fleeced accounts Campbell, having warned his mum, who is in her 60s, not to try to escape or he would burn the New Forest house down, then fled in her car and fleeced the accounts of around £500.

The court was told she was too scared to try to activate a panic alarm, but when he returned he cut her free and demanded she remove her clothes so he could burn them, fearing he would be sent down “for life” if the police knew.

Campbell told his mother to tell people she had fallen over her dog to explain her injuries.

It was only when he drove off again that she managed to get to a neighbour’s home for help.

Prosecutor Eleanor Fargin told the court the attack happened after Campbell had been taken to a drugs appointment in Lymington by his mum and the pair had a row when Mrs Campbell told him she expected he would begin taking drugs again. He had reportedly told his mum: “I won’t kill you mum, I won’t kill you. I want you to learn a lesson because you doubted me about taking the drugs.”

Mitigating, Fern Russell said Campbell had drank half a bottle of whisky at the time as self medication for severe tooth problems. She said he had 23 previous convictions for 70 offences, four of which were incidents involving his mum.

The earliest was in 1997 when he throttled and punched her, while in 2000 he was convicted of common assault for another attack on her.

Others involved assaulting police, violence and carrying offensive weapons.

Campbell, of Northfield Road, Milford on Sea, pleaded guilty to false imprisonment, causing actual bodily harm, two counts of theft, taking a vehicle without consent, destroying property and driving while disqualified.

Jailing Campbell indefinitely, Judge Keith Cutler branded him “dangerous”

and said it was his job to protect the public as well as Campbell’s mother as he told him he would serve at least two-anda- half years for the false imprisonment before he could be considered for release.

He was given jail terms for each of the remaining offences which will run concurrently.