Council worker, 26, who murdered his brother, 24, is jailed for life
Council worker, 26, who murdered his brother, 24, after a ‘totally insignificant’ row over a dog is jailed for life and must serve at least 21 years behind bars
- William Campbell, 26, stabbed his younger brother Samuel to death in June
- Campbell accused his brother of insulting the family dog before stabbing him
- He was today jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum of 21 years in prison
A council worker who murdered his brother during a row over the family dog has been jailed for life.
Samuel Campbell, 24, died from a single knife wound to the chest during a ‘scuffle’ with his sibling William at their mother’s home in Sunderland in June.
William Campbell, 26, of Stokesley, North Yorkshire, denied murder but was found guilty by a jury after a trial at Newcastle Crown Court last year.
William Campbell, 26, left, has jailed for life after murdering his younger brother Samuel right, in their mother’s back garden in June 2021
In the video, Campbell quizzes the police officer on the ‘protocol’ of his arrest, and says: ‘What does that entail? I understand the protocol but what does that entail? ‘What do I have to do?’
Jurors heard Campbell attacked his brother after they argued because Samuel had ‘raised his voice to the dog’. He claimed he wanted Samuel to ‘apologise’ to the dog for shouting at it but instead plunged a knife into his chest. Pictured: Forensics and police at the scene of the family’s home in Sunderland in June 2021
Judge Paul Sloan QC today sentenced him to life behind bars and said he must serve at least 21 years before he can apply for parole.
Campbell was remanded in custody in December pending his sentencing hearing earlier today.
Video footage shown to the jury at Newcastle Crown Court features the moment Campbell was arrested on suspicion of murdering his younger brother after Samuel Campbell had shouted at the family dog.
Samuel Campbell, 24, died from a single knife wound to his chest during the scuffle with his sibling William in their mother’s back garden just after midnight on June 18, 2021.
Police and ambulance crews rushed to the house in Silksworth, Sunderland, where they found Samuel lying in a pool of blood moments later.
Police bodycam footage, which was played to a jury during the trial, shows Campbell calmly admitting to an officer he stabbed his brother ‘out of rage’.
He then goes on to quiz the officer on the ‘protocol’ of his arrest.
He tells an officer: ‘I stabbed him out of rage.’
The policeman replies: ‘You’re under arrest.’
Campbell asks: ‘What does that entail? I understand the protocol but what does that entail?
Police bodycam footage, which was played to a jury during the trial, shows William Campbell calmly admitting to an officer he stabbed his brother ‘out of rage’
Campbell, of Allen Court, Stokesley, North Yorkshire was told he must serve at least 21 years of a life sentence by Newcastle Crown Court, pictured
‘What do I have to do?’
In the footage, paramedics can be heard desperately trying to save his brother who was later pronounced dead at the scene.
Jurors heard Campbell attacked his brother after they argued because Samuel had ‘raised his voice to the dog’.
He claimed he wanted Samuel to ‘apologise’ to the dog for shouting at it but instead plunged a knife into his chest.
Detective Chief Inspector Jane Fairlamb, of Northumbria Police, said: ‘This is a terribly sad case that has seen a family torn apart in the most devastating of circumstances.
‘William made the decision to pick up a knife after an argument with his brother, and by doing so, he has ruined more than one life forever.
‘There is never an acceptable excuse to pick up a knife as a weapon and this tragic case has no winners. Our thoughts remain with Samuel’s family at this most poignant of times.
‘I sincerely hope this acts as a reminder to everyone about the potential dangers of carrying a knife – and the severe consequences that can follow.’
During the trial, jurors were told the brothers, who were like ‘chalk and cheese’ had been in the garden of their mother’s home, where Samuel had been drinking Bourbon and listening to music by the fire pit with the dog Marley.
Campbell, who ‘disapproved’ of Samuel’s lack of a full-time job and reliance on their mother to walk the dog, had just returned from a night out with a friend, the court heard.
Mother Carolyn Campbell said she heard ‘raised voices’ from inside the house in Silksworth, Sunderland, and went downstairs to tell them to quieten down so they would not disturb the neighbours.
The court heard that the scuffle and row continued and Campbell, now 26, picked up a knife from the kitchen and stabbed his younger brother in the garden.
After Campbell was found guilty, Judge Paul Sloan QC warned him: ‘There is only one sentence in respect of the offence of murder and that is a sentence of life imprisonment.
‘However, I am obliged to identify the minimum term you must serve before you could be considered for release by the parole board and that I will do having considered submissions and having considered other material placed before me in advance of the sentence hearing.’
Prosecutor Toby Hedworth QC told the court that Mrs Campbell was woken up by the sound of her sons’ voices and said: ‘She got up and went downstairs and told them to be quiet because they would disturb the neighbours.
‘There was a bit of a scuffle which the mother broke up. Samuel said something, according to his mother and went back outside with the dog.
‘The defendant sat down on the sofa and said he had just told his brother not to talk to the dog in the way he was doing.
‘Then, his mother noted the defendant got a bit frustrated and said “I’m not having this”. He said “I’m getting a knife”.
‘He went into the kitchen. Mrs Campbell didn’t follow him in there but did go out into the garden and recalls trying to get between the sons.
‘There was, as she subsequently described, a bit of a scuffle. Samuel then took off the hoodie he was wearing and saw blood on his chest.
‘At some stage their mother recalls Samuel egging his brother on and saying ‘you’ve stabbed me’ then Samuel collapsed.’
Campbell said his brother had ‘passed out’ and had a ‘flesh wound’ that would ‘scab over.’
A neighbour overheard Campbell say ‘It’s his fault this, mam.’
Campbell told a police officer at the scene ‘I stabbed him out of rage’ and later claimed ‘I deserve to die’.
During the trial, he told jurors from the witness box he was ‘absolutely devastated’ by what happened.
He said he had told their mother ‘it started because he was raising his voice to the dog.’
But he added: ‘At one stage I go “I’m not having this”. It was just the way he was talking to the dog, the way he was being, I only wanted the situation to simmer down and diffuse.
‘My only intention was to go out and apologise to our Sam and I wanted him to apologise to the dog and myself also.’
Campbell said when he got outside the apologies were exchanged but trouble flared again and the fatal wound was inflicted when Samuel ‘must have lunged and tripped’ during the confrontation, jurors were told.
The court heard Samuel still lived at the family home with their mother, whereas his older brother had moved out and lived in North Yorkshire for work but was visiting for a few days.
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