T.C: This is Thomas Campbell, with regards to Ice Cream Wars, so called trial.
F.C.T: Tommy, can you just run us through what happened when you were arrested?
T.C: When I was arrested, I think it was 12th May 1984, eh, I was awakened by banging at the door, I tried to answer the door - took the first lock off and the rest of the door was pushed in, jamming my toes. Police barge in, eh, hustle me into the living room, eh, begin to tear the house apart. I’m asking them what, what the charge is, what it’s about and all they’re saying is, conspiracy, conspiracy. I asked them what conspiracy, but they wouldn’t tell me anything. Eh, just tearing the house apart, eh, just emptying drawers out and tipping them onto the floor - not even searching them, they’re just wrecking the house, as if to say, eh, you know, we’re searching this, although they haven’t searched it, so just pulling drawers out, emptying the contents out onto the floor and moving onto the next drawer and so on. Eh, eventually I get them to tell me what the charge is, and at that time, they say attempted murder.
Eh, the only thing they had taken from the house, I think it was £260, em, and from there that was it, from there into the police car. I turned around and said to the people in the house, “I’ll see you later on today”, as I thought I’d be back later on that day, eh, and from there to the police station, I see other people there, I see Thomas Lafferty there, Thomas Lafferty Junior, and his mother, my sister Agnes. I thought they were there because Thomas had done something, some kind of juvenile naughtiness or something, and that she was there with him. It turns out that they were my co-accused; they were also charged. Eh, the first charge at that time was conspiracy to further business aims, with no specific detail, eh, and then I saw Thomas McGraw, Thomas Gray, yeah I think that was everybody… and, Thomas Lafferty Senior.
F.C.T: So after you’re arrest, and you’ve been charged, were you charged with the murders at that time?.
T.C: No. That was eh… the papers… the day I was arrested, although I didn’t see the papers, later on that night, one of the police showed me a newspaper and the newspaper was saying that I had been arrested for the Doyle murders, although I hadn’t been charged, and it wasn’t anything to do with my arrest.
F.C.T: So when was the first time that you would have known that you were charged in relation to the Doyle’s?
T.C: Eh, later on that night, I was charged with something like fourteen charges - breaching the peace - nothing that was anything to do with me, eh, and the most serious charge about it was the shooting of an ice cream van. That was the, eh, it wasn’t until, I think, ten days later that I was taken down to the Sheriff Court…
F.C.T: Is this while you’re on remand?
T.C: I was on remand. Taken down to the Sheriff Court, eh, and pulled into a side room, and asked, in effect, to fit up Thomas Lafferty Junior. Eh, the officer said to me… I’m trying to remember his name - a well know name as well. Anyway, the officer said to me that eh, there were two options here. He had been given his instructions from the Procurator Fiscal. Either I sign this statement, or I myself, will be charged with murder. That eh…the statement was effectively saying that Thomas Lafferty had asked me for money, eh, to go on the run because he had murdered the Doyle family, had set fire to their door, and he wanted me to sign the statement saying Thomas Lafferty had asked me for money and had said this to me, and it wasn’t true - none of it was true, so I refused to sign it. At the point, quite agitated, telling me either I sign that statement or I’ll be charged.
Started counting down, ten, nine…a minute, I think they gave me a minute - counting it down. Eh, it was just arguing back and forward, and at the end of that he said, “bring that other bastard in here”. Brought in Thomas Lafferty and charged us with murder. He asked if we had anything to say, and I said, “No reply”. I said it out loud to let Thomas Lafferty know not to say anything. He said “No reply” as well. At that, he started scribbling on his clipboard. “No reply, no reply, you bastard - I’ll give you no reply”, as he’s scribbling down. So I realise he’s scribbling down a verbal, eh, and you can imagine the horror of that - you’ve just been charged with six murders, and if that’s not horrifying enough to realise that you’ve been falsely verballed for six murders, it means you might go to prison for it - you might actually be convicted for it if he puts down false verbal. So it was a bit of a panic at that point, eh, noticing that one of the people at the door had changed his weight - like a guard standing at eh, ‘at ease’ position, changing his weight from one foot to another and at that point, I barged through the door. Eh, another officer, Wiley, grabbed a hold of my jacket, and I dragged him out into the corridor into the Sergeant’s bar, eh, reached over the Sergeant’s bar, grabbed a hold of the inner rim. “Sergeant, Sergeant I’ve just been charged with murder.
I want it noted that I made ‘no reply’”. The sergeant wrote down, ‘OK, you’re Thomas TC Campbell, isn’t it?’. That’s what he said, “Thomas TC Campbell, isn’t it?”. ‘CC’ he wrote down - I was watching him upside down - CC, I later found out that meant Capital Crime - and then he noted the time and ’no reply’.
F.C.T: Can you identify what Police Station that was Tommy?
T.C: This was Glasgow Sheriff Court, the old Sheriff Court.
F.C.T: You were actually taken to the Court buildings?
T.C: Yes, we were taken down from Barlinnie to court in regards to the first petition, so this was to see whether we were getting bail on the first petition. I mean, they were saying to me at the court, the police were saying to me, eh, no doubt you’re expecting to go home today, and that will be true - that is true. Because none of the charges related to me.
I mean, they really didn’t relate to me, eh, so it signified me going home. I think that was the seven days petition warrant up, eh, two, two or three days in the cells before that, so probably about ten days later.
F.C.T: Just to go back to that deal that the Police had offered you to fit up Thomas Lafferty, was it you exclusively that was offered that deal?
T.C: Oh no, no no. Everybody was offered that deal. Eh, Joseph Steele was offered that deal, eh, Gary Lane Moore was offered that deal, Thomas Gray was offered that deal - not just with Thomas Lafferty. Eh, the fit up with Thomas Lafferty wasn’t happening, eh, those deals reverted to me, so the people were being asked to say that I had said this and that I had said that, so Thomas Lafferty was taken out of the equation and I was put into his place.
It was quite common at the time - everybody spoke about the deals that they had been offered, and what it was that the police wanted them to say, and it was all pretty extreme stuff - it was all verbal confessions to another prisoner, verbal confessions to another criminal.
F.C.T: Can you define what it was that they were asking you to do in relation to all the fit ups and the deals?
T.C: What they were asking me to do, was to sign a statement - a statement already written eh, for me just to sign, to say that it was me that said it. The statement says that Thomas Lafferty approached me and asked me for money, eh, to go on the run. When I asked him what he wanted to go on the run for, he said he had set fire to the Doyle’s house, and that the police were coming after him, and he needed to escape before the police caught up with him.
F.C.T: How did you know the contents of the document?
T.C: They handed it to me to read. It was pinned to a clipboard and they turned the clipboard round for me to read, then handed me the pen for me to sign. If I sign this, I’m going straight out the door - all charges dropped and I’ll be used as a witness against Thomas Lafferty.
F.C.T: On the clipboard, did you identify whether it was typed or handwritten?
T.C: It was a police statement handwritten, eh, I asked, for instance, years and years later, I asked, I told the Commissioner about this, and said this police statement must be registered - it must be numbered. One of the things that they found was that some of the police statements were photocopied. I mean, there was another point in time, it was at Baird Street Police Station, eh, where they showed me two statements - again, they were police statements.
I mean, formal police statement with handwritten statements on them, and these statements were effectively destroying Thomas Lafferty’s alibi, and this was the police trying to convince me that Thomas Lafferty had killed the Doyle family - Thomas Lafferty Junior had killed the Doyle family and his alibis were false, they could now prove his alibis were false. Well obviously, I know enough to know that these police statements are registered and numbered OK, and if somebody writes on a police statement, then that police statement must be accountable - they must be able to trace that statement and find it and put it in its order of number.
So when you tell investigators about this, and they traced the statements, what they came back with was that there had been an enquiry into two statements, in a case, where two statements had shown up with the same number. This revealed that the police were photocopying blank statements, writing on them, and whatever one they got to work, they were destroying the others OK?
F.C.T: With regards to the statements Tommy, nobody is professing that you’re an angel - you have been involved in things in the past and you know police protocol….
T.C: Yes, I do understand that.
F.C.T: Would that be a key factor in you knowing exactly what the statements were, based upon the knowledge…
T.C: Yeah, yeah. Based upon the knowledge that the police had made five attempts in the past to fit me up for various things, and so therefore, I know… I’ve got a wider awareness of what the police are capable of - the way they plant evidence, the way they verbal people and the way they can bully people into signing false evidence and things like that, so I had a wider awareness of that, than most people.
F.C.T: So if this deal, that is readily available and you’ve got the experience to note these things, how tempted, or how intimidating would it be for someone that’s never had that experience?
T.C: For someone who has never been in that situation before, who would never expect these kind of things to happen, it’s, it‘s… the… total belief. The police say, “sign this statement and you walk free. Don’t sign it and you go to prison for thirty years”. Total believe that, and you must totally believe that - if you don’t totally believe that, you’re going to go to prison for thirty years. The way I looked at it was, they had tried these kind of things in the past and failed, and if anybody could reveal what they have done in this case, it would be better me doing it than my nephew because my nephew was so naïve, he would fall for every dirty trick they could do.
Really at that point, I still did not believe that they would go through to fit people up. I knew they would fit people up for bank robberies, fit people up with drugs, fit people up with guns, fit people up for anything, but I did not believe - I was still naïve enough to believe that they would fit somebody up for murder.
F.C.T: You mentioned Thomas Lafferty Junior. Has he got a nickname?
F.C.T: It’s just Thomas Lafferty Junior?
T.C: It was just Tommy, Thomas or Tam.
F.C.T: Why do you think he was the subject of the police fit up? Why was he targeted?
T.C: I think he was targeted because he’s an easy, he’s an easy target. He’s an easy target - he tells a lot of tales, tells a lot of fairy tales and things like that. He’s really quite naïve, eh, not the sharpest tool in the box, and I think the fact that he was related to me, me with an ice cream van, makes it easier, you know, for that connection.
I think he was just an easy target, he was somebody who was easy to manipulate - easy for them to manipulate. I mean, at one point, Thomas would say, for example, they’ve arrested his mother, arrested his father, arrested his uncle, me, and at one point Thomas had said to us, eh, “the police had said to me that if I sign a statement saying that I done it, they’ll get the charge reduced to culpable homicide, I which case I’ll get four years and with remission be out in two. Do you think I should sign it, because if I sign it, it means that my Uncle Tommy is going free, it means my Mum is going free and it means that my Dad is going free”.
So he thinks that he’s doing a good turn, you know. He’s in a position where he thinks he can do everybody a good turn - everybody will walk free if he confesses to something that he didn’t do, and they convince him that it’ll be a short sentence, you know, eh, so I mean the answer to that was Tam Gray said, “Did you do it?”, and he answered that, “No I didn’t fucking do it” - that kind of way, and Tam said, “Well sign fuck all then”. He doesn’t care whether he’s going free or not - he doesn’t want Thomas to sign a statement that isn’t true. His father says to him, eh Thomas Lafferty, Shadda Lafferty, eh, that’s where they made the mistake. They were talking about ’young Shadda said this, young Shadda said that’. They’ve got witnesses saying ’young Shadda’ but they never called him Shadda - his father was Shadda, not the son. So that was the fundamental mistake they made as far as I was concerned.
So his father said to him, “What did your mum say to you?”. “My mum said don’t sign anything that’s not true just to get her free”, because they often do that. They often arrest the mother to put pressure on the child, eh, to, force the child to conform. In that case, the mother was aware of what they were capable of doing and she was just telling the son, don’t fall for that.
F.C.T: So at a very early stage, Thomas Lafferty was the focus of attention?
T.C: Thomas Lafferty was the focus of attention, eh…
F.C.T: When did that focus of attention directly focus on you?
T.C: I think when eh, let me see….it must have been because I wouldn’t go along with the fit up. It was at the point where I wouldn’t go along with it, eh, and of course, there was a lot, they were trying to do a lot of things with Thomas Lafferty, they were trying to do a lot of different things from a lot of different angles, and they later discovered that it didn’t come through.
So they were trying to get a lot of false statements from people, and they actually created the statements, and the people alleged to be responsible for the statements had gone to the police with their lawyers to make complaints that the police were writing down things, putting things in their mouths that they had never said, so all that fit up material regarding Thomas Lafferty was beginning to disintegrate, fall apart.
F.C.T: Were these complaints ever lodged?
T.C: They were lodged at the police station and with the withdrawal of the charge against Thomas Lafferty, they didn’t go any further.
F.C.T: If we could move on a bit Tommy, whilst you were on remand, you have all realised that you’ve been charged with murder, mass murder, wiping out a family - what was the impression between you all with regards to knowing that there was deal on the table, knowing that you’ve been fitted up - what was the feeling amongst you all?
T.C: It’s hard to describe… it’s like shock, it’s like something that can’t sink in to you, you just…. It’s like something that is happening to somebody else beside you, but you know, surely this didn’t really relate to me is going through your head. You can’t get it to sink into your head, it’s so hard to accept, and of course, with so many people charged all around about you, you really… you must think, they must know more than they’re saying.
But they’re thinking the same thing about you. It’s like… I call it ‘pariah syndrome’, you know - eh, if you’re charged with ten child molestations, you can’t be charged with ten if you haven’t at least done some of them, right, so the poison is in the pariah syndrome and sets in against you - everyone looks at you as a pariah. So therefore when there’s people round about you…. I mean, I’m charged with six murders, you know - men, women and children - charged with six murders, nobody believes you.
Nobody believes you and nobody wants to hear you. I mean, I’ve heard it - so many times that people have been charged with things, and nobody believes them if they try and say they’re innocent. So therefore, there are people round about you saying they’re innocent, it’s difficult to believe them as well, and so therefore you can understand how people outside that find it difficult to believe you.
F.C.T: How was the reaction with the cons and the prison staff in relation to the fact that there was a loss of life of…
T.C: I think in our case, it was a bit more unique than you would expect. I mean, it is quite a unique case, but it’s more unique in many ways than people expect. You would expect that people would stand against you - in any situation, the prisoners would stand against you, prison staff would mistreat you, things like that, but from the day that we entered Barlinnie, must have been dozens of prisoners, were approaching us and telling us what the police had done - the police had offered them deals for their drugs charges, to say that this one had said that, or Thomas Campbell said this or Thomas Lafferty said that.
They were offering people to drop charges, serious charges - I mean even rape for God’s sake, you know. A man charged with rape is going to get the charge dropped if he says that TC says to him, you know, eh, I need to get a few quid together, I need to jump the country, they’re coming after me for murdering the Doyles - these kind of things. Mad verbals like that. I mean, there were too many prisoners that had been asked to do it, and nobody believed anything anymore. So when William Love did do it, the rest of the prisoners were aware of what happened, you understand? I wasn’t aware of what had happened. When I went into Barlinnie, it was the prisoners who told me what had happened, you know what I mean? In a situation like that, you would be expected to be treated like a pariah by other prisoners, but this situation wasn’t quite like that because they knew what was happening.
F.C.T: So you’re first involvement and understanding that Billy Love had accepted a deal, what was your understanding of it? Was it against you, or was it against Thomas Lafferty?
T.C: Well to me, when people are saying to me, people saying to me in the exercise yard and shouting down from the galleries, “Billy Love‘s fitting you up, Billy Love’s fitting you up”, and I’m saying, “Who’s Billy Love?”, and it turned out six months later when I saw him in court, I did recognise his face but I didn’t know his name before that. So when people are saying “Billy Love, Billy Love”…. someone can’t fit you up if you’ve never met them and you don’t know them, this is what I’m thinking is impossible.
As hard as he might try to fit me up, as hard as might co-operate with the police to fit me up, he can’t do it if he doesn’t know me. He’s got to know something about me to make his evidence credible, so I could not get it in my head. But then, people like Tommy Lafferty (Shadda) and Gary Moore would say things, “You’ll know him when you see him, you’ll know him when you see him”, you know, and I did know him when I saw him, but I just didn’t know that this guy was Billy Love. So my first eh… It’s hard to get into my head that this guy has been fitting me up, so I thought he was fitting me up for something, but I didn’t know he was fitting me up for the murders - I thought he was trying to fit me up for the Ice Cream war, but I didn’t actually know he was fitting me up for the murders.
F.C.T: When was the first time that you read Billy Love’s statement?
T.C: That would have been after receipt of the Indictment, I would say, about two weeks before going to court, before the trial started.
F.C.T: Can you tell us your reaction to it?
T.C: I was absolutely horrified, it was absolute horror. Let me explain something. There was a point where, with my Counsel and my Solicitor, where they read out the statement of a police officer, a Sergeant Ferguson, who used to be in the Serious Crime Squad.
Now they read out his statement and the statement covered about ten years of mayhem right, regarding Campbell, eh, regarding me, and it talks about all these crimes where I was followed at this point and under surveillance at that point - names all the dates, times, places of the surveillance and all the things I was thought to have done, or accused to have done, and there must have been a 35 page statement of crimes that I was alleged to have committed and never been convicted for. And when that statement was read to me by my Counsel, I couldn’t help but laugh, right, now all of a sudden my Counsel is horrified because these are serious crimes here, right, that he is talking about, so my reaction to that was, sorry, I know it’s not funny but the funny thing to me is, is that I was serving a ten year sentence throughout that period, right.
All these times that he has mentioned, all these times and places where I was followed and seen, I was actually in prison serving a ten year sentence as a Young Offender. So all this was absolute pure garbage, and you can understand why I am laughing, because I can see it’s garbage and I could see it so easily disproven.
Right, now, in the same strength when you get the statement of Billy Love, it’s so alien, right, like all these….like this statement of all the things I’m supposed to have done, and so alien, that it seems to you to be totally unbelievable, that surely it isn’t going to go anywhere - it can’t go anywhere. I mean, it’s horrifying to hear and see somebody saying this, you know what I mean? It’s horrifying and it’s frightening - it’s terrorising, right, but at the same time, you’ve got a…like a drowning man will grasp at a straw - psychologically, there’s something there that tells you, don’t worry about this because it’s not true, it can’t happen, you know what I mean? It’s not true, it can’t come into reality - it can’t enter the dimension of reality, it must remain as a fantasy and you know, something protects you psychologically from the shock, if you know what I mean.
F.C.T: So the police surveillance report, and your laughter, with regards to the fact that you were spending a ten year sentence throughout the duration of this timescale, was that ever used in evidence?
T.C: The officers called in evidence was cross-examined but wasn’t examined on it, wasn’t questioned on it, so that meant that that statement was lodged as evidence but the Crown did not ask him the questions. I think, eh, Counsel’s first duty is to the Crown - I think Counsel had said to the Crown, “If you take this further and you will be in trouble because look at his previous convictions, and see how it matches up with what he is saying in previous convictions but not a ten year sentence at a certain point in time”, so although he was called, he wasn’t asked to go into anything to do with this but what I was annoyed about was the statement was lodged as evidence.
F.C.T: So if we go back to the Billy Love statement, when were you first made aware of that? Was it Counsel that read it out to you….?
T.C: This would be… Counsel read it out about two weeks before the trial, eh, and it seemed like rubbish anyway, I mean, it seemed like a piece of false verbal, eh, one person upon another and it wasn’t any kind of strong evidence at all. I mean, it’s horrifying and frightening to look at and it blackens your name, eh, but we were, I was confident that when we went to court and he said these things he would be caught out, he would be shown up to be a liar, and in fact, he was shown up to be a liar.
But that was kinda…although he was shown up to be a liar, that was destroyed by the Trial Judge - the Trial Judge boosted his credibility in saying how brave, how terrific a person and witness he was and all that.
F.C.T: If we could just jump forward to Billy Love’s actual statements that he retracted to your Solicitor John Carroll, he gives an impression of the pressure he was put under with regards to the statement. Was this similar to deal that you were speaking about earlier?
T.C: It’s the same thing that they do to all people in these kind of situations - if they’ve got case… I mean, one time, the Serious Crime Squad was known as the Serious Fit Up Squad. If the ordinary local police or CID cannot convict somebody, or cannot get an arrest for a serious crime, they call in the Serious Crime Squad - they don’t need to call them in if they can solve the crime themselves, but if they can’t solve it, they call in the Serious Crime Squad because the Serious Crime Squad are the people who do the fitting up right, so they’ll get someone who has the weakest alibi and with previous convictions, and just plant the evidence on them.
Right, now, in the same way, if you take somebody, if you take somebody who is trapped in a corner - he’s maybe got two children, or he’s maybe getting married or his girlfriend’s pregnant - you know, he’s got a domestic crisis. I mean, putting them in prison creates a domestic crisis - he might be going to get married, he might have two children, Christmas might be coming up and he’s going to go away for 20 years - let’s say for armed robbery or something, maybe ten years. Eh, ten years is a long time for somebody, for anybody at all, so to be taken away for ten years and locked up, and somebody comes and says to you, “Sign this paper and you walk free”, it’s you know, it’s the devil’s deal isn’t it? I mean, as the Devil says, sign here, sign the contract and you get your life back, and people go for it - they’ve got to go for it.
F.C.T: In relation to Billy Love’s statements and the police visits, to Billy, on a canvassing mission, were they were actually saying that everybody in there were asking the same questions….?
T.C: Yes. There are people…I mean, we’ve got dozens of statements that were taken into the police station - people were approaching me and telling me they were taken into the police station - the police were asking them to say that I said this, or I said that, and these charges and that charge would be dropped, and people would be out on bail. Now people in the prison themselves, in the prison, were also taken up one by one and again given same deal - their charge would be dropped, their charge would be reduced, these kind of things, and it was all to do with verbals, it was all to do with saying this one said that… it was all usually me - say that TC Campbell said this or TC Campbell said that, that incriminates me and your charge will be dropped.
F.C.T: So the background of all this, and the information that you gleaned before the trial, what was your impression Tommy, with regards to what was going on?
T.C: Well I was horrified. I mean, I can see this as normal - this is the way the police normally carry on, only it was much heavier than normal. But it was the same system they were using - the same fit up situation, only they were given more leeway, they were given no restrictions upon them - all that had been lifted, so they could beat people up all they like. I mean, it wasn’t uncommon to take people in for six hours, move them to another police station, then move them again to another station - effectively kidnap people - moving them for six hours, actually taking them in the back door and not registering them at the Sergeant’s desk, so when people came looking for them, they move them to another police station. They do that on odd occasions, but in this case, they were doing it universally.
F.C.T: The first time Tommy, that you sat down in the dock and the charges were read out, how did you feel then?
T.C: It feels as if somebody has hit you with a bucket of shit. It’s horrifying - it’s frightening and it’s horrifying. I don’t know if I’ve got the right to say it, but to me it’s like an insight into a rape victim - how a rape victim must feel to be violated. It felt like violation, you know? It felt as thought your soul was being soiled and violated. It was just absolute horror… just horror and disgust right through, right into the soul, you know. And rage, I mean… You can be pushed so far, you can be horrified so far, until it touches a point where they’ve gone beyond, all semblance of decency and normalcy. It touches a rage in you that just makes you angry.
F.C.T: The first day is crucial, purely because of, first of all, what you’ve experienced, then you’re removed from court, then you’re taken back to Barlinnie on remand, what was your first thought that night of the start of the trial?
T.C: Pantomime. Before I went to court, I went downstairs to the court to the cells to go into the van to be moved to Barlinnie, I knew I was in serious trouble - because I knew that I could get a fair trial at the High Court right. It’s not always easy, but I knew it that it could be done, with the right Counsel, fighting for your rights, as it could be done - you can get a fair trial. As I was going down the stairs, I thought, this is a pantomime - it’s not a trial, it’s a pantomime. This is nothing but tricks, this is nothing but playacting, this is eh, this is a farce - this is not a trial going on here, this is a farce and everybody knows it.
F.C.T: Could you sum up the public feeling and perception due to the media that was flying out?
T.C: Well, the media has me down as the Ice Cream War Baron, Ice Cream Killer… I mean, I remember a time where a girl, I think she was about nine or something reading a newspaper and it said something about ‘Ice Cream Killer Thomas TC Campbell’ and she looked at me with pure hatred in her eyes and asked, “Did you murder ice cream?”, because the headline has said ‘Ice Cream Killer’. “Did you murder ice cream?”. Now, that’s a child’s reaction, the adult…I mean, the general public would have just shot me. The kind of press that I was getting, I would’ve been executed on sight. If I had of walked out of that court, I would have been strung up by a mob, because, I mean… tried and convicted in the press before it went to court, it turned me into a monster before I even appeared in court.
F.C.T: The jury, although meant to be impartial, do you think they were affected by public opinion?
T.C: Absolutely. They were affected by the press, without any doubt about it. The press were writing a different trial, to me they were writing a different trial - I mean, I’m watching a trial , and reading it in the papers the next day, and it’s not the same trial. So it was totally prejudiced, totally warped, and something totally different.