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Former-Royal couple “going through a living hell” in Dundee



Cory and Lisa Campbell

By ALEXANDER LAWRIE

A HUSBAND and wife who worked for the Queen say their life has been made a living hell by teenage neds terrorising them after they settled to start a new life in Dundee.

Cory Campbell worked as a butler and wife Lisa as a catering manager until retiring from the Royal Household in 2001 so she could try a new career.

But a new life in Scotland for pair, who claim to count Princes’ William and Harry among their friends, has turned to one of despair.

Instead of what they hoped would be an idyllic lifestyle near the River Tay, their daily routine has become a living nightmare leaving them living in fear of violent teenage gangs they claim rampage nightly outside their dream home.

Former-Royal butler Cory Campbell says his family is “going through a living hell” and is under constant harassment from up to 50 youths who congregate nightly in Dundee’s notorious Baxter Park.

Young Stobie Boys

Mr Campbell, 40, claims the park has become “lawless” as police regularly fail to deal with the growing problems.

The dad-of-three has listed a catalogue of horrific, violent events which he says has left the area “effectively abandoned” by the authorities.

Baxter Park is infamous for being the home patch of local gang, the Young Stobie Boys.

Mr Campbell says he has even been forced to install shatter-proof glass in all his windows, mount CCTV cameras around the building and put in a state-of-the-art alarm system to protect his young family.

The problems came to a head last month when three children – one as young as six years-old – were caught smearing his front door with dog excrement.

Their only punishment says Mr Campbell was a police letter sent to the children’s parents.

Catalogue of incidents

Over the past two years Mr Campbell claims to have witnessed gang battles involving up to 50 youths for 10 nights in a row, one young lad being attacked by a group of 10 yobs three times over a half hour period and a 14 year-old being left for dead in the park after being given a drugged drink.

And according to Mr Campbell, a 14 year-old was hospitalised with a face injury in a horrific incident involving two adults just weeks ago.

The Campbell’s only moved into the former park keeper’s house last year, but the family say they are now seriously considering moving as the violence continues to escalate.

Mr Campbell said: “We thought we were moving into our dream home when we bought this lodge house. It’s the only property in the park and we thought it would be great for the kids.

“But the last two years have been an unbelievable nightmare. We’ve had kids turn up at our door covered in blood looking for help – it’s like a warzone out there sometimes.

“I’ve tried complaining to the local council and the police but the park is effectively abandoned at nights leaving the kids to run riot.

“We try and talk to the kids who come to the park because most of them are fine, but it’s when the bad eggs turn up that it all kicks off.

“To me, the police do not seem to be doing much about the problems and it looks like they are trying to keep the crime figures down.”

Possible solutions

Mr Campbell claims to have found homemade knuckledusters, nunchuks and a 12’ blade during his daily walks through the park.

And he says better lighting, CCTV, more police patrols and park wardens operating at night could help solve the areas problems.

He claims has been forced to write countless letters and make hundreds of calls to police and the council as he battles to contain the trouble.

And in one of the most horrific episodes, Mr Campbell says he saw three adult men terrorise two small seven year-old boys by setting their dog on them while the kids played in the playpark.

He said: “The main problem I can see is that the violence just seems to be getting swept under the carpet. I’d like to see the problem being dealt with properly and publicly.

“Because nothing gets done by the authorities, it just sends out a signal to others to come and cause trouble because they know they can get away with it.

“It’s such a beautiful park, but because of the constant intimidation I feel like moving my family away from here.

“I’ve got three young kids and I need to put them first.”

But local councillors and the police are playing down Mr Campbell’s claims saying he is “over-exaggerating” the area’s problems.

Lodge House

Elizabeth Fordyce, SNP councillor in the area for the past 10 years, said: “I’m afraid the Campbell’s are over-exaggerating the problems in Baxter Park.

Claims denied

“Yes, there are up to around 60 youths who congregate there in the evenings, but, as far as I’m concerned, the vast majority are very well behaved.

“I’m sure the crime figures for the area will bear me out. And as for the claim that the police are just not recording these incidents because they want to keep the crime figures down, I am appalled.

“That is a terrible slur on the policemen and women who, quite frankly, put their lives on the line for our community.

“At the moment, we have youth workers, community wardens and the police all working together as a team to help make Baxter Park a lovely place to visit.”

Chief Inspector Kevin Lynch, of Tayside Police, said: “We have been working with MSP’s, local councillors and the general public to make Baxter Park a better and safer environment for everyone who uses the area.

“Mr and Mrs Campbell certainly use emotive language, but Baxter Park is no worse for youth trouble than any other area in Dundee.

“Currently, there are on-going talks with Dundee Council regarding how to make the area safer, and, of course, we would promote the use of better lighting and CCTV in the park.

“But, you have to remember better lighting could also attract more youths to the area.

“I would encourage Mr and Mrs Campbell to join their local community groups to help solve any problems they encounter.

“And I refute the claims that Baxter Park is abandoned at nights as most of the incidents reported to us someone has been reported to the Procurator Fiscal.”

However Dundee councillor Ken Lynn, whose house also overlooks the park said he sympathised with some of the trouble the Campbell family were enduring.

He said: “If somebody put dog excrement through my door I would be very upset.

“There are often large groups of young people in the park.

“I’m so fed up and frustrated with it because several million pounds have been spent on the park over the past few years.

“Baxter Park is a great asset to Dundee, and while most of the time it’s a peaceful place, I’m very concerned about it being depicted as a trouble hot-spot.”

Royal history

During his five years at Buckingham Palace, Mr Campbell – the first Canadian to work for the Royal Household -  used to work as a butler to the monarch and the cleaning of the Crown Jewels were among his many duties.

Wife Lisa, 39, was also an employee at the Palace for around eight years and she worked as an official responsible for the Royal’s catering budgets.

And Mr Campbell, who admits the Queen often caught him and other butlers hiding in the vaults eating the leftover desserts after a lavish meal, said the family were just like any other.

He said: “They liked to have fun and they had such a great sense of humour.

“They were a fantastic family to work for.”

In 2007, Baxter Park underwent a huge facelift after being awarded £3.2 million by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The newly-transformed park was then opened by Her Majesty The Queen.

Short URL: http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/?p=5333

Posted by on May 4 2009. Filed under 1, Local News, News, Scottish News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

8 Comments for “Former-Royal couple “going through a living hell” in Dundee”

  1. I know of this couple, and as far as I am aware they have brought it all on themselves. They have moved from 2 previous properties because of this “so called ” Harrassment but to be honest they have caused it all. Where they used to stay they would call the police on a sunday afternoon, just because the young lass next door was listening to music. It’s pathetic they have nothing better to do than annoy innocent people. There previous property got vandalised because they would tell lies and complain on innocent people. They have moved from Kirkcaldy, Kirkton and now to Baxters park??? what does that tell you, they are trouble no one else. And anyway lets be frank if you don’t want youths near your property don’t buy a house that stands alone in a park. I feel sorry for anyone that comes on the recieving end of their ridiculous and pathetic behaviour.

  2. I agree with the previous article. Cory Campbell is notorious. Why on earth have a house in a park and right next to a school if you don’t like young people. I walk every night in Baxter park, after 8 pm, so half the year in the dark I have never seen any trouble at all. Of course there are kids in the park. That’s one of the main reasons we have parks. The Campbells should go live in the country, although doubtless they would encounter cows who made their lives hell.

  3. I think he ( Mr. Campbell ) also owns those houses in Kirkcaldy & Kirkton. I know his wife is very pro police as she has a police officer in her family however I think he is more DIY when is comes to dealing with gangs and idiots. As for the park, well he did get more police patrols, more warden patrols, fully opened the safety gates for A&E, and got the much needed flood lights installed in the park. His kids are all youths and they are very popular in the area as he puts on films for them on his giant outdoor movie screen. I think a few folk were just jelous that he bought that stunning house when others were too slow to act and so..good for him. The man is a HERO! He cleaned up Kirkton, Kircaldy and now he has saved Baxter Park. This “Notorious Man” does exactly what it says on the tin!

  4. The “young lass listening to music”, also named Angela, was a menace to the area, high on Bubbles and always out of control. Her father and brother are currently in prison for the vicious attack at the Dundee city centre Shell petrol station this past year. They have all moved on now and so should Tess who also clearly has no idea what is going on in this park. We have seen knife, hammer and dog attacks in this park. I saved two 13 year old girls who had been attacked by one man whilst his pal bit the nose off their 15 year old friend. No more, because folk have had enough. 70 cars were vandalised at the park and over £20,000 of damage done to the park buildings before the SNP council finally gave in and put in some security measures. 500 local people signed a safety petition including the Actor Brian Cox and players from both Dundee United and Dundee FC. The Matriarch of the Baxter Family who donated the park, called Dundee City Council and demanded something be done to protect the £4.2 Million investment that Historic Scotland spent to refurbish this park. The park is very safe now but only because the majority of the community stood up against the SNP Councillors Liz Fordyce, Ken Lynn, Craig Mellville and their terrier supporters. The residents won back this park and we are not ever going to give it back to the junkies, hookers and gangs. NEVER!

  5. Michelle Christie

    I personally know Lisa and Cory and rent the house in Kirkcaldy from them. I must stress I have always found them both very polite, friendly and forthcoming. I have never had any problems with either of them. If Cory feels something is wrong they who is to say he cannot try to remedy it? Good on you Cory.

  6. I live close to this hive of scum an villainy; this “lawless” and “notorious” park where kids “rampage nightly” and to be honest its nothing like this gentleman describes. The kids in the park are there because they they are told to go there to stop them wandering the streets, and there are facilities located in place specifically FOR the kids. As for this large weapons cache the gentleman seems to be finding, well I found £10 note there once. And this tells you…..?? Nothing. Utterly nothing about the state of the park or the individuals within it. If this gentleman feels he needs to install CCTV around his home than I very much think he should wake up to the ACTUAL world where normal folks live rather than some secluded, protected, royal village that he appears to have previously lived in. I don’t know the couple but if they have property they rent out to the previous comment maker then they are still, quite evidently, in possession of a fair degree of wealth from their previous middle to upper class life. So while living a well-to-do lifestyle may suit them, unfortunately the rest of the world, and the kids in the park area, do not live this way. This no doubt would cause differences in expectations, 1) From how this family believe things SHOULD be, and 2) How things actually are to the kids in the park. If you treat these kids in the area in the wrong way, or have any issue with them directly, then of course you can expect to have them retaliate with a heinous poop-based door attack. I think Cory should spend more of his time sorting out and championing the problems in his area rather than secluding himself behind his shatter-proof windows and complaining about them. Quite simply put, if you get in the kids face with an attitude, then they will quite rightly get back in your with theirs.

  7. The comment: “The residents won back this park and we are not ever going to give it back to the junkies, hookers and gangs. NEVER!” concerns me somewhat. I have NEVER seen a so-called HOOKER in this park. What kind of place is this man describing cos it sure as hell isn’t the park that I walk through at nights. the same park where you see Yoga classes in the glasshouse, or Fireworks and concerts performed from. It appears Mr Campbell has a flag to wave and likes to ‘beef up’ a story to get some attention to it; because quite frankly… the park is actually quite nice, and security vans drive around it all the time. there are also an abundance of yellow-coated wardens who walk around that area at nights as well. I really don’t think its a bad as is being made out here.

  8. Baxter Park Resident

    Things have dramatically improved since this story first came out in 2009 because the Campbell’s forced the council to open up the gates to allow police van patrols. Crime in the area dropped by 88% and the council has just added over 70,000 pounds of safety lights which was a direct result of Mr. Campbell’s safety campaign. Actor Brain Cox supported him as did Mrs June Baxter from the family that donated the park. The park is safe again and has been since 2010 and the police will be one of the first to confirm, a lot of this has to do with the fact the Campbell’s, the residents and the youth of the area stood up and did some thing about the violence. Sadly a few folk didn’t bother to do anything at all to stop the drugs and sex trade in the park, I myself know that Mr. Campbell himself went out one night and stood up to 4 adult men who were went after my 12 year old son and his pal who were just out walking our dog, everyone who lives near the park knows that if there is ever any problem in the park, you go straight to his house for help. This man has made safety in this park a priority hence the new safety crossing he got in at the park, the safety lights and the security patrols. A great park where children now play football safely until 10pm. The gangs, drugs and violence are gone, more folk should emulate this community result.

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