Brother of Danielle Jones’s killer fights to keep him locked up for refusing to disclose body site


The brother of the man who murdered British schoolgirl Danielle Jones in 2001 says he never doubted his guilt as he fights to keep the killer behind bars for not revealing the location of her body. 

Stuart Campbell, 63, was jailed for life in 2002 for the murder of his niece Danielle but will be eligible for parole this year. 

The murderer has never revealed the location of his niece’s body, which will be a test for the newly introduced Helen’s Law designed to stop killers from being released until disclosing the whereabouts of their victims’ remains.

Campbell’s brother Alix Sharkey, 64, who currently lives in Barbados, has written a book about his horror at the killing and revealed he never doubted his guilt, saying: ‘Within 10 minutes I knew he was lying and there’s never been any shadow of doubt in my mind since that moment.’

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today Show: ‘Towards the end of 2019 I was thinking about my life and then of course I started thinking about my brother and I realised I hadn’t thought about him for a long time.

Stuart Campbell, 63, was jailed for life in 2002 for the murder of his niece Danielle but will be eligible for parole this year

Stuart Campbell, 63, was jailed for life in 2002 for the murder of his niece Danielle but will be eligible for parole this year

The murderer has never revealed the location of his niece's body, which will be a test for the newly introduced Helen's Law

The murderer has never revealed the location of his niece’s body, which will be a test for the newly introduced Helen’s Law 

‘The papers were full of this stuff about Helen’s Law and I guess I hadn’t really put the two things together, but when I sat and thought about my brother I realised, “Oh my God, he’s planning on keeping his mouth shut, keeping his nose clean, and slipping out of the gates one morning at dawn and just never ever acknowledging what he’s done”.’

Helen’s Law is named after Helen McCourt, a 22-year-old insurance clerk who was murdered in 1988. Her killer, Ian Simms, has never revealed the location of her body.

Under the law, killers could still be released if no longer deemed a risk to the public even if they refuse to disclose information. 

But the Parole Board will be legally required to consider whether they have co-operated with inquiries as part of their assessment. 

Campbell's brother Alix Sharkey, 64, who is currently living in Barbados, has written a book which recounts his horror at finding out about his brother's crime

Campbell’s brother Alix Sharkey, 64, who is currently living in Barbados, has written a book which recounts his horror at finding out about his brother’s crime

Campbell, pictured, has never admitted to his crime or revealed where he hid Danielle's body

Campbell, pictured, has never admitted to his crime or revealed where he hid Danielle’s body

Alix said: ‘When I realised he could get out without actually telling the truth, without giving back Danielle’s body, in typically British way, I decided first of all, you know what, I’ll write an angry letter to the parole board.

‘Then I thought I could do better than this, I can also write a letter to Stuart and include my letter to the parole board.

‘And then I started realising, this is not enough because he’ll ignore it and the parole board won’t make it public.’ 

Danielle left her home in East Tilbury, Essex in June 2001 to catch a bus to St Clere’s School in Stanford-le-Hope, Essex – and her parents never saw her again.

Campbell, a father-of-two and body-builder, denied any involvement in his niece’s disappearance, but the prosecution produced evidence that he had developed an ‘irresistible sexual attraction’ for her. 

Sharkey believes his brother feels shame for what he did, demonstrable by the fact Campbell has never replied to any of his letters (pictured left beside Campbell in August 1975, aged 18 and 17)

Sharkey believes his brother feels shame for what he did, demonstrable by the fact Campbell has never replied to any of his letters (pictured left beside Campbell in August 1975, aged 18 and 17)

On the 20th anniversary of the schoolgirl's death last month, Danielle's parents Linda and Tony appealed to Campbell to reveal where he hid her body  (pictured in 2001)

On the 20th anniversary of the schoolgirl’s death last month, Danielle’s parents Linda and Tony appealed to Campbell to reveal where he hid her body  (pictured in 2001)

Alix said his book, My Brother The Killer, opens with the moment he visited his brother shortly after his arrest.

He said: ‘The police asked me, “Could you go and talk to him then come back and just tell us your gut feeling, tell us what you think”. 

‘I went to see him and within 10 minutes I knew he was lying and there’s never been any shadow of doubt in my mind since that moment.

‘I tried to reach out to him several times after he was locked up and he just ignored me.

Danielle left her home in East Tilbury, Essex in June 2001 to catch a bus to St Clere's School in Stanford-le-Hope, Essex - and her parents never saw her again

Danielle left her home in East Tilbury, Essex in June 2001 to catch a bus to St Clere's School in Stanford-le-Hope, Essex - and her parents never saw her again

Danielle left her home in East Tilbury, Essex in June 2001 to catch a bus to St Clere’s School in Stanford-le-Hope, Essex – and her parents never saw her again

‘So 20 years later I started thinking about him and I realised he’s trying to get out of prison without telling the Jones family what he did with their daughter’s body. I was furious. Immediately I was furious with myself because I had pushed it out of my mind.’

Campbell regularly picked Danielle up from the school bus stop in his van, sent her ‘an inordinate amount of text messages’ and kept a diary chronicling his contact with her.

Sharkey hopes his book will encourage Campbell to do the right thing

Sharkey hopes his book will encourage Campbell to do the right thing

He claimed to have been in another part of Essex on the morning Danielle disappeared, but expert analysis of his mobile phone showed that could not be true.

Investigations also revealed that his phone and Danielle’s phone were together near his home for around 30 hours after she vanished.

In a bag in Campbell’s loft, police found female underwear including a pair of cling-top women’s stockings stained with blood which contained a mixture of Campbell’s and Danielle’s DNA.

Alix said: ‘I was shocked when I found out he had done this and I was shocked when I learned he had a pattern of sexual deprivation and so in a way he has become a mystery to me. How did we turn out different? I’m not so sure. 

‘I think my brother is intellectually curious and I know my brother is also vain. So I think those two factors will compel him to read the book.’

On the 20th anniversary of the schoolgirl’s death last month, Danielle’s family appealed to Campbell to reveal where he hid her body.

Her mother Linda said she hoped Campbell would ‘do the right thing and allow us to lay our darling daughter to rest’.

Schoolgirl missing for 20 years: The disappearance of Danielle Jones 

Danielle Jones, 15, disappeared in June 2001 after leaving home to catch a bus to school.

In December 2002 her uncle, Stuart Campbell, of Grays, Essex, was convicted and jailed for life for her kidnap and murder following a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court.

He has never admitted how he killed Danielle or where she is.

Danielle Jones, 15, disappeared in June 2001 after leaving home to catch a bus to school. Pictured: Danielle Jones aged 11 with parents Tony and Linda, brothers Ryan (left) Mitchell (right with glasses)

Danielle Jones, 15, disappeared in June 2001 after leaving home to catch a bus to school. Pictured: Danielle Jones aged 11 with parents Tony and Linda, brothers Ryan (left) Mitchell (right with glasses)

Campbell denied any involvement in her disappearance, claiming to have been in another part of Essex on the morning Danielle disappeared, but expert analysis of his mobile phone showed that could not be true.

Investigations also revealed that his phone and Danielle’s phone were together near his home for around 30 hours after she vanished.

In a bag in Campbell’s loft, police found female underwear including a pair of cling-top women’s stockings stained with blood. The stockings bore traces of Campbell’s and Danielle’s DNA.

In 2005 Campbell appealed the decision claiming he did not get a fair trial.

In the appeal, his lawyers argued that the trial judge, Mr Justice McKinnon, should have excluded highly prejudicial evidence to the effect that Campbell had a fixation for young girls and taking photographs of them, and downloaded material about teenage girls from the Internet.

They also urged Lord Justice Kennedy, Mr Justice Simon and Mr Justice Bean to rule that one of the jurors should have been discharged because he lived next door but one to a police officer involved in the case and another senior investigating officer lived in the same village.

The appeal however was dismissed. He will wbe eligible for parole at the end of this year.  



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