Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Man jailed for life for murdering love rival on Orkney

A jealous man who murdered his love rival neighbour on a remote island was jailed for life today.

John Campbell, 59, was told he must spend at least 16 years behind bars for battering Robert Rose to death on Sanday in Orkney.

He had previously been found guilty of murdering the Yorkshireman, who began a relationship with Campbell's former flame after moving to the island for a "fresh start".

The body of 54-year-old Mr Rose, from Rotherham, was found in sand dunes last June after a two-week police hunt.

A trial at the High Court in Glasgow heard that the former construction worker had started seeing Campbell's ex-partner Margaret Johnston, 34.

Jealous Campbell, a monkey-keeper, murdered Mr Rose with the help of friend Stephen Crummack, 51, who was found guilty of culpable homicide.

Both were also convicted of defeating the ends of justice by concealing Mr Rose's body and driving his car to Loth Pier to make it look as though he had left the island on a ferry.

Lord Turnbull told Campbell: "You have been convicted of his murder, motivated it seems by your dislike of him and your reaction to his involvement with your former partner."

He said Campbell had lied to police and Mr Rose was a "kind and likeable" man who was "entirely harmless".

Campbell was sentenced to life in prison and told he must serve at least 16 years before being considered for parole.

Crummack was jailed for 11 years in total - 10 years for the culpable homicide and an additional year for the second charge.

Addressing Campbell, Lord Turnbull said: "Having heard all of the evidence at the trial, it was perfectly obvious that you lied to the police when they interviewed you.

"You had, by then, gone to considerable efforts to ensure that Mr Rose's body would not be discovered.

"There was, in the end of the day, something rather appropriate about the fact that, despite all of your efforts to hide your involvement, you were undone by your own inability to resist boasting about your conduct to a fellow inmate, no doubt in the expectation that he would be impressed."

He added: "Having heard the evidence, it was as obvious to me as it was in the end to the jury that you were responsible for Mr Rose's murder."

Campbell was also sentenced to three years in prison for defeating the ends of justice, which would be concurrent to his minimum term.

Turning to Crummack, Lord Turnbull said: "You have also been found responsible for the killing of Mr Rose but not to the same extent as your co-accused.

"It's right in your case that I should acknowledge that your conscience did come to lead you to assist the police in a significant way.

"It is also right to acknowledge that, had you not done so, it is not possible to know how the police inquiry would have turned out.

"Nevertheless, you participated in Mr Rose's killing and must now take the consequences of that."

Mr Rose's two sons and his daughter were in court today. The three made no comment as they left the court.

Earlier this month, after a four-week trial at the High Court in Glasgow, a jury took six hours to find Campbell guilty of murdering Mr Rose.

Both men had denied murdering him at his home on June 6 or 7 and stealing his wallet and cash.

During the trial, Ms Johnston told the court she and Campbell were introduced to Mr Rose by fellow islander Crummack, who lived in a caravan near Braehowar, Mr Rose's house.

The trial heard that Ms Johnston met Campbell more than four years ago after contacting him about the sale of a marmoset monkey.

Mother-of-three Ms Johnston said her own monkey had died and she came across Campbell's details on the internet while looking into buying another one.

The pair set up home together and the animal lover said she was "very grateful" to Campbell for allowing her to fulfil her childhood dream of setting up a sanctuary.

But she told the court she was more interested in the pets than him, and they often argued.

She said she developed feelings for Mr Rose, whom she described as a "very nice person", over a period of weeks and started seeing him after her relationship with Campbell ended.

Ms Johnston said Campbell was "not happy" about them getting together.

But she remained living with Campbell because Mr Rose's property was not suitable for children and her ex-partner called social services after she stayed there on a few occasions, she said.

Father-of-three Mr Rose moved to Sanday in March 2008 after buying a run-down property and a plot of land where he kept three alpacas.

His daughter, Katie, told the trial that he had suffered financial problems and wanted a "clean break". He was reported missing on June 8.

During the trial, the court heard that a blood spot on a pillow case at Mr Rose's home belonged to Campbell and DNA matching Crummack had been found on cigarette butts in the fireplace at Braehowar and on a sleeping bag.

The jury was also shown video footage of Crummack taking police to sand dunes where the body of Mr Rose was found.

Frances Connor, defending Campbell, told the court during mitigation today: "Mr Campbell's position remains as it was at trial and he maintains his innocence in respect of the charges."

The court was told he had a conviction for dishonesty in 1986.

Paul Burns, defending Crummack, said: "On behalf of Mr Crummack, I would like to say that he very much regrets the part he played in this tragedy.

"He is extremely sorry for the pain that this has caused."

Mr Burns said Crummack was also sorry for the pain caused to Mr Rose's children.

He added: "To his credit, it was his conscience that drove him to assist in the recovery of Mr Rose's body."

Mr Burns said that, without Crummack's help, no-one could know when Mr Rose's body would have been discovered.