Glasgow & West Scotland

Murder accused Paul Ward 'hated' Jean Campbell, court told

Jean Campbell Image copyright Police handout
Image caption Mrs Campbell's body was found in Cranhill Park by her husband

A man accused of murdering a woman in a Glasgow park hated her for the way she treated her dog, a court has heard.

Yvonne Leyden, 54, was a neighbour of Jean Campbell, who was fatally injured in Cranhill Park on 14 December 2013.

Ms Leyden, whose son knew accused Paul Ward, said Mr Ward told her: "She's always hitting the dog. How would she like that if I did that to her?"

Mr Ward, 21, has been deemed mentally unfit to stand trial and is not present at the examination of facts hearing.

Ms Leyden told the hearing at the High Court in Glasgow that she heard a scream and then a dog barking on the night before Mr Campbell found his wife.

'Angry scream'

Ms Leyden said: "It was a kind of angry scream as if they were angry with someone and then I heard a dog barking."

She was asked by advocate depute Alex Prentice QC, prosecuting, if this was unusual in Cranhill on a Friday night and replied: 'I thought it was a bit unusual, but I still thought nothing about it."

Ms Leyden said that minutes after she heard the sounds, Mr Ward, who was a friend of her son Thomas Leyden, 23, rang her doorbell.

She said: "He had a DVD in his left hand and he was out of breath."

Image copyright Spindrift
Image caption Paul Ward has been deemed mentally unfit to stand trial

Ms Leyden told prosecutor Mr Prentice that on two occasions Mr Ward had complained about the way Mrs Campbell treated her dog.

She told the court: "He said: 'She's always hitting the dog.' I told him to mind his own business. She was a small woman and the dog was a bit strong for her."

Ms Leyden went on: "He also said: 'How would she like that if I did that to her?'"

When asked about a police statement, Ms Leyden agreed that Mr Ward, referring to Mrs Campbell, said to her: "I hate her and I hate the way she treats the dog."

She also told the court that Mr Ward talked about wanting to buy the dog from Mrs Campbell.

Mr Prentice said: "When the police told you that Paul Ward was in the park that night, did you confront him about this?"

She replied: "Yes."

The prosecutor then asked: "What did he say?" and she said: "He said he didn't want to get the blame."

Defence QC Donald Findlay showed Ms Leyden a questionnaire she filled in just 48 hours after the death of Mrs Campbell in which she said she never heard anything untoward that night.

Mistaken time

She said that was a mistake, but agreed that when she did tell police about hearing a scream and a dog barking that it happened between 8pm and 10pm rather than 11pm.

Mr Findlay said: "At the time you thought that was the correct time?" and she replied: "Yes."

The defence QC also showed Ms Leyden a statement in which she stated that Mr Ward was in her flat when she heard that scream and barking and she agreed she had said that at the time.

Earlier, the court heard from Mrs Campbell's husband, John.

Image caption Mrs Campbell was found in Cranhill Park

The 56-year-old said he came home from a 12-hour night shift around 07:40 on 14 December 2013 and found their flat in Bellrock Street, Cranhill, empty, but all the lights on.

The former production manager said the he went out looking for his wife and their six-month-old German Shepherd Kia.

He told the court he heard barking as he walked towards the park where his wife walked the dog.

Mr Campbell said: "When I got to the children's park the gate was closed and the dog was at the gate and I couldn't see Jean and I thought she was playing tricks and would leap out from behind a building.

Husband 'panicked'

"It was only when I began to scan the area I noticed Jean lying on the ground. I panicked and ran up.

"Jean was lying for the most part face down. I turned her over. There was some leaves or dirt on her face and I wiped that clear. Her body was still warm. Her legs were freezing."

He said that she was wearing a black coat and pyjama top and was naked from the waist down.

Mr Campbell told the court that her pyjama bottoms, socks and one flip flop were lying beside her.

He said that he gave his wife mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and believed she was breathing. He then phoned for the police and an ambulance.

At this point in his evidence Mr Campbell lost his composure as he told of how the police arrived and gave his wife mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and then the paramedics took over.

He told Mr Prentice: "Shortly after that they came over and told me that Jean was dead."

The court heard that the Campbells got Kia in July 2013 and that Mrs Campbell, who walked him when her husband was working nightshifts, found him a bit of a handful.

The court heard that years before Mrs Campbell had suffered a burst blood vessel in her brain.

As a result of this she could feel no pain down the right hand side of her body.

Mr Campbell added: "After that her temperament changed. Before she was quiet, afterwards she didn't suffer fools easily. She got angry quite quickly."

Mr Ward is accused of murdering Mrs Campbell by repeatedly striking her on the head and body with a dog lead.

He has been deemed unfit to stand trial on mental health grounds and is detained at the State Hospital at Carstairs.

The hearing is taking place with no jury and Mr Ward is not present.

The evidence is being heard by judge lord Matthews who will, at the end of the hearing, make a determination either to acquit Mr Ward or find that he committed the acts.

The judge cannot convict as that can only happen at a criminal trial where the accused is deemed fit to be tried.

The hearing continues.

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