| 11.3°C Dublin

Race hate Thug jailed for anti-Muslim hate campaign says he thought he'd been set up by Jeremy Beadle

We confront thug who terrified Muslim man by vowing to burn his home and place of worship

Close

Jason Campbell is confronted at his home this week by our man
Steven Moore

Jason Campbell is confronted at his home this week by our man Steven Moore

Jason Campbell is confronted at his home this week by our man Steven Moore

A thug jailed for six months for a sinister "orchestrated campaign" of anti-Muslim hate told us this week he thought he'd been set up by Jeremy Beadle.

A court found Jason David Campbell, of Woodland Drive, Cookstown, sent threatening messages to a Muslim man which included him phoning the victim and putting on a fake Arab accent.

Campbell had claimed he lost his phone and someone else made the threats, but he was convicted after it emerged he had given police several versions of how long his phone was missing.

Campbell not only threatened to kill the man but also threatened to destroy the home of his family and to "damage all the mosques in Northern Ireland".

It's understood he had claimed he would leave a pig's head at the door of all the mosques as well.

The 36-year-old was released on bail to appeal his sentence but is facing six months in Magilligan Prison should he fail.

Close

Jason David Campbell, has been jailed after carrying out an "orchestrated campaign" against a Muslim family including threats to kill, which were aggravated by racial hostility.  Campbell (36), from cookstown, was convicted of sending a false message to cause anxiety, and another of a menacing nature on 17 July 2020, as well as threatening to kill a male and destroy the house where the victim and his family resided

Jason David Campbell, has been jailed after carrying out an "orchestrated campaign" against a Muslim family including threats to kill, which were aggravated by racial hostility. Campbell (36), from cookstown, was convicted of sending a false message to cause anxiety, and another of a menacing nature on 17 July 2020, as well as threatening to kill a male and destroy the house where the victim and his family resided

Jason David Campbell, has been jailed after carrying out an "orchestrated campaign" against a Muslim family including threats to kill, which were aggravated by racial hostility. Campbell (36), from cookstown, was convicted of sending a false message to cause anxiety, and another of a menacing nature on 17 July 2020, as well as threatening to kill a male and destroy the house where the victim and his family resided

 

When we confronted Campbell, who has previous convictions including serious assaults and drug offences, he told us he was trying to get the conviction overturned as the threats had "nothing to do with him", despite the fact his lawyer had told the court his client had instructed him to say he would not be appealing the conviction.

And speaking to us from his home on Wednesday, deluded Campbell continued the theme that 'he'd been framed'.

"I was arrested on July 17th last year and when they told me why they were arresting me I was expecting Jeremy Beadle to jump out," Campbell said.

"Honestly I thought I'd been pranked for You've Been Framed. I couldn't believe what they were accusing me of.

"It was two days before my birthday when I was out and either lost my phone in a pub or just afterwards. It was only a cheap Tesco pay-as-you-go phone but the battery lasted for three weeks.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

"The calls were made by someone else because I don't even know this man. I can't believe what has happened to me. My name has been in the local papers and on the radio but I want to clear my name. I didn't do any of this.

"It was said [in court] that I'd threatened to go round every mosque in Northern Ireland and throw pigs heads at them.

"Honestly I'm still waiting for Jeremy Beadle to walk round the corner."

Campbell was found guilty of sending a false message to cause anxiety, and another of a menacing nature on July 17, 2020, as well as threatening to kill a man and destroy the house where the victim and his family resided.

The court heard police spoke to the victim after he reported receiving a voice message from a male who "appeared to put on a fake Arab accent while issuing threats to kill him and his family".

There was also a threat to burn his house and a named mosque. He then threatened to damage "all the mosques in Northern Ireland".

Police took a copy of the message before identifying the phone number as belonging to Campbell.

He was arrested a short time later and during interview accepted it was his number but claimed to have lost his phone for a time, finding it a few days later.

When asked if anyone had access to his phone, Campbell was unable to provide a satisfactory answer and gave different accounts of days and times he claimed it was missing.

On reading the pre-sentence report, Deputy District Judge Sean O'Hare noted "no acceptance of responsibility".

A defending lawyer advised while Campbell has not changed his position, he has given instructions not to appeal the conviction - "which the court may take some comfort from".

However, on Wednesday Campbell seemed to be unaware of this claim from his lawyer.

"I have to get this overturned, I'm going to appeal. I can't go to jail for something I didn't do and I don't want to be labelled a racist or have this on my record," he said.

We also asked Campbell if he had any previous convictions and he said he had a few from ten years ago which he described as "silly stuff".

But his own lawyer had already conceded in court that Campbell has a previous record which includes an assault in 2004, a more serious assault in 2011 and possession of drugs in 2019.

"There is little I can say in terms of my client's attitude," said the lawyer. He added that neither Campbell nor the victim knew each other, and the incident was "random, almost sporadic, and I accept it was targeted and aggravated by hostility".

Addressing Campbell directly, Judge O'Hare said: "Regardless of your attitude to these matters, your refusal to accept responsibility is indicative of an absence of remorse. That's entirely your right but the consequences are much more serious."

He added: "I don't know how this occurred or what's going on in your head that you thought this was an appropriate way to behave.

"This was an orchestrated campaign directed against a family involving threats of the worst possible nature. That cannot be overlooked or brushed under the carpet. The custody threshold is met, and I see no reason to suspend that."

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Privacy