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Tuesday, 8 October, 2002, 14:47 GMT 15:47 UK
Uncle 'fixated on Danielle'
A builder charged with murdering his 15-year-old niece had an "irresistible sexual attraction" for her, a court has been told.

Stuart Campbell, 44, of Meadow Road in Grays, Essex, denies kidnapping and murdering Danielle Jones.

She disappeared near her home in East Tilbury, Essex, in June last year.

A jury at Chelmsford Crown Court heard on Tuesday that Campbell had become "fixated" with the schoolgirl.


Was it a message sent by Danielle using her phone... or was it the defendant using her phone to send himself a message?

Orlando Pownall QC, prosecuting

Orlando Pownall QC, outlining the case for the prosecution, said although Danielle's body has never been found, there was no doubt she was dead.

He said Mr Campbell's "fixation for her manifested itself in a number of ways" and in the months before her disappearance, Danielle had grown tired of his advances.

"On the morning that she left for school she was seen talking to a man in a blue Transit van.

Text message

"It is no coincidence that this defendant owned such a van," he said.

Mr Pownall said a message was received on the defendant's phone at 1157 BST on 18 June, the day Danielle Jones disappeared.

It said: "Hiya Stu, what you up to.

"I'm in so much trouble at home at the moment. Everyone hates me, even you! What the hell have I done now.

"Why won't you just tell me. Text back please. Love Dan XXX."

Mr Pownall said: "Was it a message sent by Danielle using her phone, or her abductor or was it the defendant using her phone to send himself a message?"

He said the text was written in uppercase but Danielle usually used lowercase lettering.

Mr Pownall said a canvas bag found in the loft at Mr Campbell's house contained a pair of white stockings, which were stained with blood containing a mixture of Danielle's DNA and that of the defendant.

Schoolgirl photos

The jury heard Mr Campbell kept a diary almost exclusively dedicated to detailing his contact with his niece.

The court heard Mr Campbell also posed as a photographer and invited schoolgirls the same age as his niece back to his house, where he took pictures of them in various states of undress.

Mr Pownall said Mr Campbell claimed he had been at a DIY store in Rayleigh on the morning of her disappearance.

However, records showed his mobile phone was not in the area at the time.

Mr Campbell is the husband of Danielle's father's younger sister.

The case continues.

See also:

02 Oct 02 | England
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