FIVE YEARS FOR THROWING HER SON FROM 14TH FLOOR; Mother's tears as she is sentenced for killing the boy she doted upon.
Allison Campbell, 26, wept as she was sentenced for the culpable homicide of her younger son Derek.
She had originally been charged with murder but admitted the reduced charge on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
Campbell woke up Derek and brother Ross, nine, last October by shouting to them that there was a fire in their flat in Dalmarnock, Glasgow.
The two boys ran to her for help and she picked up Derek, carried him to her bedroom balcony and then pushed him through a gap in the safety netting.
Just before he fell the terrified boy cried out: "Mum don't do that."
Neighbours heard Campbell laughing moments before throwing him to the ground 150 feet below, where he lay dying from multiple injuries.
Friends were stunned the mother could turn on the little boy she doted upon.
One told of Campbell's delight as she watched Derek rip open his birthday presents just two days before his death.
She had bought him a new tracksuit and Celtic ring and about 20 of his friends had gathered in a small community hall in Anderston to enjoy his first real birthday party.
Many of his new toys had never even been taken out of their boxes when he was hurled to his death.
Many were convinced that Campbell was innocent and believed that Derek must have died after a terrible accident. But at the boy's funeral at St Patrick's RC Church Father Gerry Nugent read a confession from his mother.
Campbell had been arrested following his death and was being held in the State Mental Hospital Carstairs at the time of his funeral.
Father Nugent told the congregation: "Allison has something to say and that's simply that she's sorry."
The parish priest had visited her in Carstairs before the funeral and she had admitted to him that she had killed the child.
Yesterday, the High Court in Edinburgh heard of Derek's tragic death.
Neighbours in the block heard screaming and shouting after the boy landed on the ground.
They looked out and saw him on the concrete below. His brother Ross ran out of his house to raise the alarm but while attempts were made to resuscitate him he was dead on arrival at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.
When police arrived at the house they smelled smoke and eventually found two small fires - one in Derek's mattress and the other on a bedsheet.
Campbell was held in Carstairs while psychiatrists assessed her condition. One psychiatrist said she was suffering from schizo-effective psychosis but that she was not suffering from it at present.
Donald Findlay QC, defending, said: "The tragedy is that the two things she cherished most in life were the two children."
He told how she had alcohol and drug problems and that she had been poorly treated by previous partners and friends.
He told judge Lord Penrose: "All of these things came together and resulted in as great a catastrophe and disaster as you and I, my lord, have seen in these courts."
He asked that she be sentenced yesterday and not returned to Carstairs claiming:
"I don't think that girl would survive in Carstairs - not in any recognisable form.
He continued: "She has not had any great stability in her life and outwith the family has had no love and no joy.
"She is very much aware of the awful nature of what she has done."
He added that Campbell had said to him: "Do you realise I will be serving the sentence for the rest of my life?"
Any future contact with her surviving son will only take place under supervision.
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|Publication:||Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)|
|Date:||Aug 5, 2000|
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