Road-rage attacker who terrified pupils in Leicester is jailed — (Leicester Mercury)

SSRI Ed note: Man in withdrawal from antidepressant is abusive, smashed cars and a bus with a crook lock, gets jail time.

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Leicester Mercury

Wednesday, November 25, 2009, 09:30

Youngsters were terrified when a road-rage driver smashed a school bus window with a crook lock.

Glass shattered over the driver, while children were on their way home from school.

Robert John Alan Campbell (30) had earlier attacked two other vehicles, frightening the occupants, including an elderly couple.

Campbell, a married dad of three, was jailed for 16 months after admitting three counts of causing damage and one of having an offensive weapon – the crook lock.

Janet Hall, prosecuting, told Leicester Crown Court that Campbell, who had run out of medication for a mental health problem, committed the offences between 3pm and 4pm, on September 18.

The first happened when a pensioner in Groby Road, Leicester, braked suddenly at red lights.

Ms Hall said: “The defendant was behind her and very angry, gesticulating.

“To her horror, he got out of the car and began throwing his arms around, shouting aggressively, causing her to lock her door and feel very intimidated.”

Her husband, who suffered from ill health, was also in the car.

Campbell kicked the driver’s door, causing £1,109 damage.

A short time later, Campbell lost his temper with a motorist coming out of the Tesco car park in Beaumont Leys, Leicester.

The driver, who was with his girlfriend, locked the doors when the defendant got out of his vehicle and shouted “What’s your problem?”

The defendant wielded what looked like a baseball bat, but was a crook lock, which he used to strike the victim’s bonnet, causing £554 of damage.

The school bus driver, travelling from Birstall towards Glenfield, encountered the defendant when taking a wide turn, causing Campbell to brake.

The defendant got out and, armed with his crook lock, smashed the driver’s window.

When the police went to Campbell’s home in Dominion Road, Glenfield, he said: “The crook lock I used is in the front of my car.”

The defendant also admitted damaging a TV set at Cash Generators, in the city centre, on July 10, following an argument with staff.

Paul Trotter, defending, said: “He’s not a man hell bent on criminality but a man with problems and needs his medication properly managed.”

He said Campbell was unable to cope while suffering from a personality disorder brought on by stress and depression.

Campbell’s medication stopped a few weeks before the road rage outburst, but when he tried to seek help he ran out of patience waiting in the doctor’s surgery.

His health had since greatly improved.

Judge Sylvia De Bertodano said the incidents had particularly frightened the “vulnerable” elderly couple and the schoolchildren.

She said: “If you smash windows of a bus with people on it, you take the risk that someone inside will be injured.

“It’s no thanks to you that no-one was hurt.

“I’ve seen a psychiatric report and have heard you’ve had difficulties with your mental health, but the disorder you’ve been suffering from doesn’t mean I’m not required to send you to prison.

“This sort of behaviour was quite terrifying to members of the public going about their daily business.”