Leamington man sentenced for attacking woman outside her home and stealing her phone, bank cards and cash

He was sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for 12 months

A Leamington man attacked a woman outside her home and stole her phone, bank cards and cash because, he claimed, she had not paid back money she had borrowed from him.

Carlton Campbell was charged with robbing the woman, but his pleas of guilty at Warwick Crown Court to alternative charges of assault and theft were accepted.

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Campbell (52) of Clarendon Square, Leamington, was sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for 12 months and was ordered to take part in a rehabilitation activity.

Carlton Campbell

And Judge Sylvia de Bertodano also ordered him to pay £500 compensation to his victim.

Prosecutor Laura Hollingbery said that in May 2020 the woman left her home in Leamington with a friend at 7.15 in the morning to go shopping.

As they were about to get into a taxi Campbell, who had known her for about four years, turned up, having previously sent her threatening text messages.

Approaching her, he told her: “I want my money.”

He then punched her to the face and followed that up by elbowing her to the chin.

Campbell then snatched her phone, which was in a case in which she also had £100 in cash, two bank cards and her driving licence, and left with it.

The woman reported the incident to the police, and in a statement she said she already suffered from a personality disorder and had been left feeling even more anxious than usual.

When Campbell was later arrested at his home, he retrieved the phone from under the bed, claiming he had not stolen it, but that she had left it there the previous Friday.

And asked why he had kept it, he replied: “She stole from me, that’s the God’s honest truth.”

When he was formally interviewed, he said the woman was a friend who owed him £150, but denied he had punched her.

He said he went to see her and asked to take her phone as security, and that she had willingly handed it over – but accepted he had then refused to give it back.

Miss Hollingbery added that Campbell had 11 previous convictions for 24 offences, but none for dishonesty since 2001, and no others since two offences of battery in 2013.

Nick Devine, defending, said: “He has no offences for the last eight years, so this was a lapse, although a significant lapse.

“This is all about a debt. The victim borrowed some money, and he expected it would have been repaid by then.”

Asked by the judge whether the woman accepted that, Mr Devine conceded: “Not in her initial account to the police; but when he turned up, one of the things he was saying was ‘give me my money,’ so there was obviously at least a perception of a debt.

“When he didn’t get it, what happened, happened, and he subsequently used the money.”

Mr Devine pointed out that Campbell has been diagnosed as suffering from psychosis, which caused ‘cognitive deficits,’ and a prison sentence could have an adverse effect on his mental health.

Sentencing Campbell, Judge de Bertodano told him: “This is about what happened nearly two years ago when you came up to her and were making threats to her and punched her in the face and snatched her phone, which had her cards and £100 with it.

“You thought she owed you money, and she may well have owed you money, but you know as well as I do that that is not the way to go about getting it back.

“This has caused her a lot of stress and anxiety.

“You were diagnosed with psychosis, which has had an effect on your life – and I am sure if it was not for that, you would not be offending in this way. Were it not for that, the sentence would be immediate.”