Three men have been convicted after a man was brutally beaten to death at an industrial premises in Sandwell.
Carl Woodall, aged 44, tragically died after sustaining catastrophic injuries during the early hours of 28 June last year.
Carl, who was known to his family and friends as ‘Burt’, was a father of five. He’d spent the Sunday afternoon before his death with his ex-partner and their three children. They had lunch before he returned to the static caravan he lived in at the unit he rented on Doulton Trading Estate in Rowley Regis.
At just after 1.16am on Monday 28 June, CCTV cameras captured a Nissan Qashqai moving along Doulton Road shortly before it was seen parking inside the trading estate. The car was being driven by James McGhee alongside passengers Simmion Goldbourne and Mark Campbell.
Shortly after the trio were captured on CCTV approaching Carl’s unit on foot.
Over the next 30 minutes they were seen going to and from the unit, and at around 2am Mark Campbell and Simmion Goldbourne managed to get inside the perimeter fence. James McGhee was seen on his own outside the fence and is thought to have returned to his car.
Just over two hours later, at 4.13am, Simmion Goldbourne and Mark Campbell were seen emerging from the unit, one carrying a bag and the other a box. They ran back to James McGhee who was waiting for them in the car. Seconds later they all drove off.
Carl had been stripped naked and beaten to death. They used at least three weapons in the sustained attack. During the post mortem, the pathologist identified over 140 separate injuries, including a traumatic brain injury which would have contributed to his death. Sadly, due to the defensive nature of some injuries, it’s thought Carl was conscious during part of the attack.
While it’s largely unknown why such a prolonged and vicious attack was carried out, detectives started to piece together the evidence.
A detailed sequence of events was put together and presented to the jury. It included how there was a connection between Carl’s stepsons and Mark Campbell as well as details of the forensic evidence we obtained.
We know Mark Campbell met Carl’s stepsons in prison in 2018. Mark Campbell made contact with one of them in June 2021 and spent some time staying in a hotel in Halesowen. We know they had visited the Doulton Trading Estate and had food from a takeaway within the estate – a short distance from the offence location. Mark Campbell left the West Midlands and returned to his home in Nottingham suddenly after the attack on Carl.
Whatever the dispute between Carls’ stepsons and Mark Campbell, phone records showed that all contact between them ended. We also discovered phone activity between the three defendants before Carl’s murder. We also were able to track their phones as they travelled from Nottingham to the Black Country – which mirrored the analysis of ANPR cameras used to trace the vehicle James McGhee was driving.
In addition, we recovered CCTV from the unit, where we believe Mark Campbell and Simmion Goldbourne scaled the fence, while James McGhee waited in the car for over two hours. Carl was first attacked in his caravan and then taken into his unit where he was further beaten until he died. He was tragically discovered the following day by his son.
Forensic analysis of the unit showed that an untidy search had been made. A bloodstained knife and machete were also found which, when examined, matched Carl’s blood.
CCTV also showed Mark Campbell returning to his girlfriend’s flat in Nottingham at around 8.30pm on 27 June. He was driven by James McGhee who was seen with a large amount of cash when re-fuelling his car and buying snacks at a local garage. He took a large bloodstained crowbar back home with him which we later recovered from his garden.
When the car was recovered Carl’s blood stains were found in the front passenger and rear seat.
Simmion Goldbourne returned to work and CCTV showed that he dumped a bag in a skip. Following a search there, clothing was recovered. He later accepted that this was the clothing he’d worn at the time of the offence.
In the subsequent days all three were arrested and charged with murder and today (Wednesday) following a three week trial at Wolverhampton Crown Court:
• Mark Campbell, aged 39, from Glaisdale Drive East, Nottingham was found guilty of murder.
• Simmion Goldbourne, aged 28, from Glamis Road, Nottingham was found guilty of murder.
• James McGhee, aged 28, from Stanstead Avenue, Nottingham was found guilty of manslaughter and not guilty of murder.
They will be sentenced on Friday.
Detective Inspector Hannah Whitehouse, from our homicide team, said: “My thoughts are with Carl’s family. He died in horrific circumstances and I cannot imagine how painful their loss is.
“We do not fully understand why Carl was killed but his death was senseless and the level violence used against him is deplorable.
“Carl was a quiet and well-liked man, he had five children, three of which are very young. He did nothing to deserve what happened to him on that dreadful day.
“I hope the outcome at court today offers some solace to Carl’s family. My thoughts remain with them.”
Carl’s family said today: “Carl was a quiet, hard-working man who loved his family and children. He kept himself to himself and did not deserve to die in such horrific circumstances. Carl’s family and friends are heartbroken about what has happened to such a kind, caring person. His life has been needlessly taken away from everyone who loves him. We will never know why Carl was targeted in such a senseless way. He will always be in our hearts and will forever be missed”.