Council worker who murdered his younger brother during row over family dog is jailed for life

William Campbell ‘ruined more than one life forever’ when he made the decision to stab his brother, Northumbria Police said

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A council worker who murdered his brother for failing to apologise to the family dog after shouting at it has been jailed for life.

Samuel Campbell, 24, died from a single knife wound to the chest during a “scuffle” with his sibling William at their mother’s home in Sunderland in June, 2021.

William Campbell (left) and his brother Samuel (right).William Campbell (left) and his brother Samuel (right).
William Campbell (left) and his brother Samuel (right).

Jurors heard Campbell attacked his brother after they argued because Samuel had “raised his voice to the dog”, The Yorkshire Post reports.

He claimed he wanted Samuel to “apologise” to the dog for shouting at it but instead plunged a knife into his chest.

William Campbell, 26, of North Yorkshire, denied murder but was found guilty by a jury after a trial at Newcastle Crown Court last year.

On 5 January, Judge Paul Sloan QC sentenced him to life behind bars and said he must serve at least 21 years before he can apply for parole.

‘I stabbed him out of rage’

Police and ambulance crews scrambled to the house in Silksworth, Sunderland, where they found Samuel lying in a pool of blood on 18 June.

Bodycam footage showed Campbell calmly admitting he stabbed his brother “out of rage” claiming he was “coming for him”.

Bizarrely, he then quizzed the officer on the “protocol” of his arrest.

He tells an officer: “I stabbed him out of rage.”

The officer replies: “You’re under arrest.”

Campbell asks: “What does that entail? I understand the protocol but what does that entail? What do I have to do?”

In the footage, paramedics can be heard desperately trying to save his brother who was later pronounced dead at the scene.

‘Family torn apart’

Detective Chief Inspector Jane Fairlamb, of Northumbria Police, said: “This is a terribly sad case that has seen a family torn apart in the most devastating of circumstances.

“William made the decision to pick up a knife after an argument with his brother, and by doing so, he has ruined more than one life forever.

“There is never an acceptable excuse to pick up a knife as a weapon and this tragic case has no winners. Our thoughts remain with Samuel’s family at this most poignant of times.

“I sincerely hope this acts as a reminder to everyone about the potential dangers of carrying a knife – and the severe consequences that can follow.”

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