Teen arrested over jobless Chatham father Karl Campbell's rape lies
by Keith Hunt
An attention-seeking teenager who caused the arrest of an
innocent man after claiming he saw film of a violent rape attack on
a mobile phone has walked free after a judge said he needed to get
a "work ethic".
Judge Jeremy Carey decided there was an alternative of a
suspended sentence with onerous conditions - including unpaid
work - to locking up jobless father Karl Campbell.
"That might get you back into the work ethic and improve your
chances of getting employment," he said. "Goodness knows you need
it. I know the difficulties of getting work, but people do get
"It might be said that labouring should be left to certain
classes and people who come to this country, but it is not
demeaning. It can be enhancing and rewarding."
Campbell, of Wiltshire Close, Chatham, admitted perverting the
course of justice - but maintained for some time his story was
Maidstone Crown Court heard how shop worker and student
Saranzaib Nasar, 18, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder
and rape because of Campbell's lies.
He told police that asylum seeker Mr Nasar - who came to
the UK from Afghanistan in the back of a lorry - had shown him
a clip of a woman being brutally attacked in Chatham.
"I warn you if you come back here again I shall not be remotely sympathetic..." – Judge Jeremy Carey
Andrew Espley, prosecuting, said the woman was the victim
of "a very nasty attack" in an alleyway in Luton Road on January 28
Campbell, now 20, later told a cousin he knew something about
it. He said he went to the Best One Shop in Luton Road within 36
hours of the beating and after seeing a headline about it asked if
anybody knew anything.
He claimed Mr Nasar told him: "Yes, I have got film of that
Campbell said he had seen a video of four people attacking the
woman, kicking her in the head and crotch and one raped her.
When police spoke to Campbell he repeated the same account and
then made a full statement.
Mr Nasar was arrested and held in custody for 22 hours.
CCTV at the shop showed that Campbell had not been there on the
day he said he had.
Campbell was sentenced to 12 months' youth custody - suspended
for 18 months - with supervision and 200 hours' unpaid work.
No charges have been brought over the attack.
Judge Carey (pictured right) said of Campbell: "He has
never had a job. He has got a child. He lives in Chatham. It is a
pretty depressing picture from his point of view and, frankly, the
public's point of view.
"He has certain difficulties. It is serious offending. But there
is another side to this and it is an all too familiar and
"It is easy for judges to make observations about a defendant
who sits around all day and has the disabilities he has, but he
needs to get into some work ethic.
"If I am told there is a real risk, despite his assertions he
will do what he is asked to do because he is frightened stiff of
going to prison, he will have to go to prison.
"There are plenty of people in prison in some fragile mental
Campbell had experienced "a pretty miserable life with low
self-esteem and not much to look forward to".
"I have to find a way in which the public is satisfied on one
hand in recognition of the serious wrongdoing and on the other hand
consideration which may reduce the risk of re-offending."
Judge Carey told Campbell that Mr Nasar's arrest on suspicion of
attempted murder "must have frightened the life out of him".
"The custody threshold is passed because of the impact of your
offending on an innocent man. You could have no complaint if sent
straight to custody - and it is a course many would say should be
Persistent use of skunk cannabis was making Campbell’s life
worse, he said.
Karl Campbell was jailed
at Maidstone Crown Court
But Judge Carey added: "I judge there is an alternative to
immediate custody on this occasion. There will be a prison sentence
hanging over you."
The judge warned Campbell he would be breached and face custody
if he did not comply with the order.
"I warn you if you come back here again I shall not be remotely
sympathetic," he said. "It is a pretty stark alternative - either
you get on with it or you go inside."
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