Machete man `felt need to get even with society'

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The Independent Online
A man charged with attempted murder after he went on the rampage with a machete in a nursery school told police he planned the attack a month before as a way of "getting even" with society, a jury heard yesterday. The court also heard that he felt an affinity with mass killers Thomas Hamilton and Martin Bryant.

Horrett Campbell, 33, an unemployed welder, told detectives that children at Luke's Infant School in Blakenhall, Wolverhampton, had teased him and called him a "loser", Stafford Crown Court was told.

Three children, aged between three and four, nursery nurse Lisa Potts and three mothers were injured in the attack on 8 July this year. Campbell, from Villiers House, a block of flats overlooking the school, denies seven charges of attempted murder - four adults and three children - but has admitted lesser charges of wounding.

The jury heard that Campbell told police after his arrest that he had planned the attack a month before as he felt there was a conspiracy against him.

Asked what was going through his mind as he lashed out at the nursery children, Campbell replied: "That I was exonerating myself. Like, I was getting even for them letting me down and turning against me, the people at the school and people in general. I think I'm at the end of some sort of conspiracy."

On 8 July, the court heard, he had got out of bed after midday and later "went to the school to attack some people. I had a bag with me to conceal my weapon, a machete."

He told police he had also carried a kitchen knife, a Fairy Liquid bottle full of petrol and two metal rods covered in foam, along with a lighter in his pocket.

He explained that the petrol and rods were to be used as flamethrowers. "It came across my mind at one stage - just throw it at the school. I would probably have wet the sponge in petrol and probably thrown them at anything."

He told police he approached the school from behind the neighbouring church, adding: "I decided I was going to go through with what I had planned. I jumped over the wall and I attacked them."

When questioned by police about a picture gallery, including pictures of Dunblane killer Thomas Hamilton and Australian mass murderer Martin Bryant, Campbell said he believed some good had come out of the Dunblane tragedy.

In police interviews, Campbell said he felt an affinity for Hamilton who had also been treated as "an outcast, like an oddball". Referring to Bryant, Campbell said: "He shot and killed some people and I thought well, he drives a Volvo like me".