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Dangerous Folkestone man beat hotel guest and broke bones in his face

A raging homeless man borrowed £20 from a hotel guest then beat him unconscious breaking bones in his face.

Screaming “I want notes” Stephen Campbell rained blows on his victim’s face as he laid helplessly in a Folkestone seafront hotel.

Stephen Campbell has been jailed. Picture: Kent Police
Stephen Campbell has been jailed. Picture: Kent Police

After being judged a danger to the public, the 27-year-old was given a extended sentence of 12 years which means he will serve nine years in prison and will be on licence for a further three years.

Campbell befriended John Willingham at the Gran Canaria Hotel in Marine Parade, where they were both staying on July 19 last year.

On finding Campbell a “genuine and nice person”, Mr Willingham invited him to his room where they talked, a court heard.

Prosecutor Tom Dunn explained: “The defendant asked to borrow some money saying he would be paid back the following day.

Gran Canaria Hotel in Marine Parade, Folkestone. Picture: Google Maps(29137238)
Gran Canaria Hotel in Marine Parade, Folkestone. Picture: Google Maps(29137238)

“Mr Willingham leant £20 to the defendant, who then left Mr Willingham’s room.

“But the defendant went back to the room and Mr Willingham let him in.

“The defendant asked to borrow more money, but Mr Willingham indicated he was sorry and only had copper coins left.

“The Crown say that he shouted ‘I know you have got notes I want them all.’”

Campbell punched Mr Willingham’s face with such force he fell onto the bed, laying helplessly, when Campbell ramped up the violence.

Mr Willingham was taken to William Harvey Hospital. Stock picture
Mr Willingham was taken to William Harvey Hospital. Stock picture

“He stood over him and began swinging punches shouting at him ‘I want the notes’ and said he was going to kill him,” Mr Dunn added.

Campbell punched Mr Willingham so hard he was left with multiple displaced fractures in his jaw, cheek and eye socket.

The court heard Campbell “calmly walked” out of the blood-splattered room when Mr Willingham lost consciousness and didn’t wake until the next day.

An ambulance rushed him to Ashford’s William Harvey Hospital, while being treated Campbell arrived at the same hospital and was arrested.

Campbell claimed he was at the Burstin Hotel a stone’s throw away at the time of the attack and gave a no comment interview.

“He wasn’t in a good frame of mind there, he was drinking too much there, and the result is graphic for all to see...”

But Mr Willingham picked him out in an identification parade and Campbell pleaded guilty to wounding with intent and attempted robbery on the day of trial last year.

Mitigating, David Langwallner said his client caused “horror story injuries” but argued the violence was fuelled by poor mental health and alcohol.

“He wasn’t in a good frame of mind there, he was drinking too much there, and the result is graphic for all to see,” he said.

The barrister explained Campbell pleaded guilty before trial and was “contrite for what he had done.”

Judge Catherine Brown told Campbell, who has 15 convictions for 24 offences: "It is clear that this offence has had a profound effect on your victim not only physically but psychologically. It was a sustained and brutal attack that has left him in a state of fear.

"I can only hope that with time Mr Willingham is able to put this traumatic event behind him and can recover the life that he had before it occurred."

Wearing a blue polo T-shirt, Campbell could be heard sighing heavily as he was led to the cells.

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Read more: All the latest news from Folkestone


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