A 45-year-old man has been jailed for life for a shocking murder he committed within hours of seeing a Facebook message which suggested that his girlfriend had cheated on him.
Daniel Campbell’s own girlfriend Victoria Sugden revealed on Facebook that he had slept with Robert Lyn’s girlfriend Stephanie Slade the night before and within two hours Lyn had armed himself with a knife, forced his way into 38-year-old’s Elland flat and knifed him to death as he lay defenceless on his bed.
Bradford Crown Court heard today that Miss Slade had in fact been in the bathroom of the flat as Lyn “butchered” Mr Campbell while he slept and as he left the premises in Elizabeth Street he asked her:”How do you like your boyfriend now?”
Mr Campbell, whose body showed no signs of any defensive wounds, had been stabbed seven times in the neck and 13 times in the stomach.
The judge, Mr Justice Coulson today sentenced Lyn, of Huntingdon Avenue, Bradley, Huddersfield, to life imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to the murder and said he would have to serve a minimum of 26 years in jail before being considered for release by the Parole Board.
Lyn almost collapsed in the dock as the judge passed sentence on him and his barrister Richard Wright QC conceded that his client could die in prison or be a very old man when he was released.
The court heard that Miss Sugden found out about the apparent infidelity because she received a mistaken call from her friend Miss Slade’s mobile phone and she was able to overhear a conversation in which they talked about what had happened the previous evening.
Just after 5.30pm on July 18 Miss Sugden posted on Facebook:”I’m really upset. I can’t sleep, but her and Dan slept with each other last night at his. I heard them discussing it when Steph’s phone rang me but she didn’t know. So sorry Rob.”
Minutes later Lyn asked Miss Sugden for Mr Campbell’s address and after she told him he bought half a bottle of brandy before getting a lift to Elland.
In a phone call to Miss Slade’s daughter he asked:”Why has she done this...we are supposed to be in love.”
Lyn bought a set of three knives from the Aldi store and took one of them with him when he went to Mr Campbell’s flat at about 7pm that night.
A neighbour described him as looking “possessed” and as he kicked at the flat door he shouted:”I know you’re in there, let me show you what a real man is.”
After getting no response Lyn emptied the soil from a concrete planter and then used it to break down the door before climbing onto the bed to attack Mr Campbell as he slept.
Lyn was arrested soon after the murder by a police constable and an off-duty colleague and said:”Is he dead yet? What would you ******* do if you caught your girlfriend cheating on you?”
Mr Wright described the death of Mr Campbell as “wholly needless and pointless” and suggested that circumstances had combined with Lyn’s personality traits to cause the “terrible explosion of violence”.
Mr Justice Coulson said a letter he had received from Lyn did now express genuine remorse and he suggested that the case highlighted the “pernicious effect of Facebook”.
He said Miss Sugden’s decision to tell the world before speaking to those involved seemed particularly thoughtless and her misjudgement was to have fatal consequences.
The judge told Lyn that he had inflicted severe injuries upon Mr Campbell and added:”Indeed it is no exaggeration to say that you butchered him.”
Family and friends of Mr Campbell packed the public gallery and he was described in victim impact statements as a man who was loved by his family, made friends easily and had everything to live for.
Detective Chief Inspector Steve Snow, of West Yorkshire Police, said: “Daniel was a quiet, caring and loving son, who was loved by all his family. However, on the 18th July 2014, the lives of Daniel Campbell’s family were changed forever by Robert Lyn.
“Lyn’s brutal attack was fuelled solely by jealousy and, on the afternoon of Friday 18th July 2014 he subjected Daniel to a violent, sustained and savage attack whilst he lay in his bed, for which he has shown no remorse.
“The events of that evening have without doubt had a significant and profound effect on Daniel’s family.
“Robert Lyn is a dangerous individual who, today, has been sentenced to spend his life in prison for this brutal attack. I hope that today’s sentence can bring some small comfort to the family of Daniel, who hopefully one day can start to rebuild their lives.”