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GATESHEAD MURDER: Man who helped cover up vile murder in 2017 is finally jailed

GATESHEAD MURDER: Man who helped cover up vile murder in 2017 is finally jailed

Image: Northumbria Police

A lying thug who helped cover up the brutal murder of a vulnerable man has been jailed for four years. 

The murder of Craig Eade shocked the Gateshead community back in 2017 after the 23-year-old’s body was found hidden in a wheelie bin.

Craig had been lured to the home of Paul Watkins who wanted to confront him over a series of unfounded Facebook rumours. He was then choked, hit over the head with a hammer and stabbed.  

His hands and feet were bound with cable ties before savage Watkins wrapped his body in bedding and dumped him in a bin in between Northbourne Street and Inskip Terrace.

Watkins was arrested and charged in the days that followed the horrific attack and within four months – the 36-year-old appeared before Newcastle Crown Court where he was jailed for 18 years for the murder.

Detectives always suspected Watkins had not acted alone in disposing Craig’s body and cleaning the crime scene – and yesterday (Monday) after years of dogged determination, associate Jamie Campbell was put behind bars for his role.

Campbell, 31, was initially brought in for questioning in March 2017 where he categorically denied his involvement stating in police interview he was “not responsible in any way” for the murder or involved in the “planning and preparation.”

Following further enquiries, Campbell’s DNA was placed at the scene and in February 2020, after a lengthy legal process, he finally admitted helping Watkins scrub the crime scene.

A heartfelt statement issued by Craig’s father Ray Eade read: “On behalf of our family I would like to thank Detective Chief Inspector Andy Fairlamb and the enquiry team for their hard work and support throughout the past four years. 

“Craig will be forever in our hearts and the evil way in which he was taken from us can never be forgiven.

“Watkins and Campbell have destroyed the very heart of our family and no sentence would ever reflect the damage they have done.”

Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Constable Beth Murphy, the Family Liaison Officer who supported the Eade family throughout their ordeal, praised their courage during four years of torment.

Det Con Murphy of the Force’s homicide and Major Enquiry Team (HMET) said: “We know that no sentence will ever be enough to bring Craig back to his loving family, but I hope yesterday can give them the closure they deserve after all this time.

“We always knew Campbell had been involved and were determined to bring him to justice, even after Watkins was convicted.

“It’s despicable that even after all this time he continued to lie and maintained his innocence – allowing Craig’s family to continue suffering.

“Thanks to the sheer determination and skill of our detectives and the forensic specialists, a case was finally put forward which proved Campbell’s involvement and meant he was no longer able to lie his way out of a conviction.

“We will make no apologies for our relentless pursuit of dangerous individuals who have no regard for the law.”

Jamie Campbell, 31, of Eslington Court Gateshead admitted assisting an offender on November 30 last year and was sentenced to four years imprisonment on February 1.

Words: Northumbria Police

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