Sanday murder trial: The Orkney island love triangle that ended in death
Mar 3 2010 By Ben Spencer
"MONKEY Man" Jack Campbell was yesterday convicted of murdering his rival in an island love triangle. A jury took less than six hours to find 59-year-old Campbell guilty of murdering Bob Rose, 54.
The pair had clashed over their love for Margaret Johnston, 34, the mother of Campbell's child. Campbell was enraged after she dumped him and refused all contact - while sending widowed dad-of-three Bob intimate pictures of herself by phone.
He and Stephen Crummack, 51, killed Bob and dumped his body in a shallow grave in sand dunes - before using the victim's mobile phone to send Margaret a vile message. It read: "F*** off, you Scotch bitch. I've got myself a real woman."
Bob's body was found buried in sand dunes on the Orkney island of Sanday, only a few weeks after Campbell told a community nurse he wanted to kill his rival. In the weeks leading up to his death, Bob also told friends that Campbell had threatened him with the words: "Your day is coming."
A month-long trial at the High Court in Glasgow was told Campbell and his co-accused Crummack had battered and smothered Bob at his home on the island. They then concealed his body and tried to convince islanders that he had left Sanday. Alcoholic Crummack claimed he had only helped to conceal the killing.
But the trial was told Bob had died fighting for his life and one person was unlikely to have been able to kill him. Crummack was convicted of culpable homicide yesterday and both men were found guilty of trying to defeat the ends of justice. Judge Lord Turnbull deferred sentence until the end of the month and branded the pair "atrocious and callous" for their conspiracy to conceal the crime.
Bob's loved ones were left in agony for weeks before Crummack, fearing Campbell was about to stitch him up, led police to the sand dune grave. During the trial, the jury heard Margaret, originally from Glenrothes, Fife, had first met Campbell while he was living in Falkirk and she contacted him about a monkey she wanted to buy. The pair fell in love, had a daughter together and moved to Sanday to set up a rescue centre for lab monkeys.
But the "volatile" relationship went sour and Margaret began an affair with Bob, a building worker who moved to Sanday in 2008 from Yorkshire after his wife died. Campbell had been so besotted with Margaret he had accepted her banning him from watching television or reading newspapers in case he saw topless women. She allegedly told him she had an aversion to nudity and she also forbade him from going to the shops or the pub in case he spoke to other women.
So he was furious to discover that Bob was allegedly showing topless photos she had sent him by text message around in the pub. It was claimed that they included one of Margaret in the bath.
At one point, the trial heard, Margaret briefly left Campbell's home and went to live with Bob.
Bob was so in love with her he offered to buy the monkeys from Campbell for £10,000 in cash but Campbell refused.
Margaret then returned to Campbell's home so she could be with her beloved marmosets and macaques, which had a purpose-built enclosure at the house. She admitted in court that she had chosen the monkeys over Bob, agreeing with Campbell's defence QC Donald Findlay that for her "the monkeys came first, second and last". Margaret eventually left for the mainland, taking her three kids, including Campbell's daughter, with her.
She refused all contact with Campbell, even changing her phone number.
And he was further incensed when he discovered that she was still in touch with Bob - and sending him saucy pictures of herself. Campbell, with the help of Crummack - who had been a friend of Bob's but had grown to resent his attempts to persuade him to turn his life around - got his deadly revenge.
Last June 6, the night Bob died, he sent his daughter Katie a text message, which said: "Ha, ha. Just having a boys' night in." Instead, he was brutally murdered, robbed, slung into his own car and dumped in the dunes. Yesterday, beauty therapist Katie, 25, described her father as "a great man".
She said: "Words cannot describe how much of an impact our dad had on our family and close friends. "He was a great man - kind and generous. He was the kind of man who always left a good impression. He will be missed by many and never forgotten. We want to know him for the man that he was.
"We hope that we get justice for our dad but, whatever the sentence, it will never replace the life that has been taken."
The senior cop who led the hunt for Bob's killers last night welcomed the verdicts. Detective Inspector Mark Mackay said: "This was a particularly wicked crime, committed by two individuals who went to great lengths to cover their tracks." The court heard that despite the deception, the people of tiny Sanday, which has a population of about 500, never believed that Bob had left the island. They called in the police, sparking a massive manhunt on the island, which measures just 24 miles from top to bottom.
The court heard that the search failed to turn up anything and Campbell and Crummack initially presented a united front when they were quizzed by police. But Crummack, who has serious alcohol problems and was often barred from local pubs, turned against his co-accused after he heard him laughing with his lawyer in Kirkwall police station.
At that point, he believed he was going to be "fitted up" and led police to the burial site overlooking the sea - almost three weeks after Bob had disappeared.
Sniffer dog Eddie and his handler Martin Grime, who were involved in the hunt for Madeleine McCann and in the Soham murders of Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells, were called in. And Eddie pinpointed the exact spot where Bob's body lay.
The trial heard that, while Campbell denied having anything to do with the killing, he confessed to his cellmate at Inverness Prison Leslie Norquoy, who told all to the police.
All three men in the case had moved to Sanday to escape from the crime-ridden mainland and start a new life in a rural idyll. There are no police based on the island, which has a population of just 520, and islanders do not not lock their cars or their homes.
But the three men were fated to clash with deadly consequences.
The lover's story
The mum-of-three at the centre of the love triangle that ended in murder insists: "I'm no scarlet woman." Margaret Johnston's affair with Bob Rose led to his brutal death and burial in a shallow grave. Now she has lifted the lid on her violent hell at the hands of Jack Campbell, her love for Bob and the "intimate" photos she sent him.
She said: "I'm no scarlet woman. I wasn't going back and fore between them. I left Jack after he attacked me for the second time. The first attack was strangulation. The second was bashing my head off the kitchen floor. Yes, he was capable of murder when he lost it."
Margaret, 34 - whose youngest child is Campbell's daughter - arrived on Sanday with him to set up a centre to rescue laboratory monkeys. But she started an affair with Bob, 54, when he set up home on the island in 2008. She said: "I used to go to Bob's for security, safety for myself and the children, but Bob and I grew closer and fell in love.
"I think we could have a good future together but it has all been snatched away." Margaret also condemned references to Bob as "Black Bob", saying it was a name only Campbell used.
She said: "Bob has been killed and yet so much seems to be disrespectful of him. "The title 'Black Bob' is terrible. It sounds as if he was dirty, filthy, a nasty individual. Nothing could be further from the truth."
After Margaret moved off the island, she sent Bob pictures described in court as "intimate".
But she said: "I don't even know if they were topless. They were for him. Lots of women and men send photographs of each other. It's not as though I got kitted out with stockings and suspenders. It has been said that Bob was showing the pictures in the pub. I don't believe that. Bob would not show them to anybody."
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