Violent sex abuser is named and shamed

Scales of Justice
Scales of Justice

The victim at the centre of a shocking Co Derry sex abuse case has waived her right to anonymity so her abuser can be named.

Rodney Joseph Campbell, of Sperrin Road, Limavady, was jailed for 12 years for sexually and physically abusing the girl.

She was just 15 when the abuse began and Derry Crown Court heard she was a ‘vulnerable’ girl who had been in the care system.

The victim became involved in a relationship with the 44-year-old’s son, however this ended when Campbell began having sex with her.

It was revealed that on one occasion the man put the girl’s head into a pan of cold cooking oil. He also sexually assaulted her with a rolling pin and the handle of a hammer.

The court heard the defendant would physically assault his victim by punching her, kicking her and stubbing cigarettes out on her body.

He would also strangle her, make her black out and lose consciousness.

The court was told the victim managed to get away from Campbell after she made a suicide attempt in 2009.

Passing sentence earlier this month, Recorder of Derry Judge Philip Babington said it was a “shocking case” and the victim was “totally under the control of the defendant and indeed lived in fear of him. She was regularly abused, humiliated and beaten”.

He added that the vulnerable victim was treated as Campbell’s “own personal plaything”.

The case sparked controversy and led a local MLA to call from an inquiry into child exploitation in Northern Ireland to have stronger powers.

Sinn Fein’s Maeve McLaughlin said that those involved in the case had questions to answer.

Helena Bracken, of the Nexus Institute, which offers support to survivors of sexual abuse, described the case as one of the worst she had come across.

Yesterday morning, the victim’s solicitor Paddy McGurk told sentencing Judge Philip Babington that his client had instructed him to apply for the anonymity order to be lifted.

He said she realised the order was put in place for her own protection, but she now felt she no longer needed the protection given to her by the order.