“I want to watch his coffin burn — that way I will know that he can never hurt me or anyone else ever again.”
Michelle Collins, 46, spoke to the Tele after the death of Ronald Campbell — the 71-year-old who allegedly sexually abused her when she was a child.
The body of Campbell was found at his home in the Downfield area of Dundee on March 24— just eight days after he faced serious charges at the city’s sheriff court for the first time.
He faced allegations of committing indecent behaviour towards a child between the age of 12 and 16, breach of the peace, indecent assault, as well as lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour.
Now one of this alleged victims has waived her anonymity, speaking about the “complete nightmare” for the first time.
The former Dundee woman, who now lives in Brechin, claims Campbell “stole her childhood”.
Michelle claims to have been sexually abused by Campbell over five years — starting from when she was aged just 11.
In an exclusive interview with the Tele, she said she fears his death may mean she never gets closure.
She added: “It might seem odd but I want to go to his funeral.
“I want to watch his coffin going down.
“I want to watch it burn and know that he is finally gone.
“Then never again will he be able to hurt me or anyone else.
“That man stole my childhood and now I feel he has cheated from what was coming to him.
“I wanted my day in court with him.
“I wanted him to have to look me in the eye and tell me why he did what he did to me.
“Now I will never get that chance. I can only hope that his funeral finally brings closure for me because I have not got it so far.”
Michelle said the horror began when she was growing up in Menzieshill.
She said she regularly visited her brother — who lived with Campbell — adding: “Up until that day, everything had been OK.
“However, I was growing, going through puberty and beginning to develop.
“That summer day we were playing in the garden and he put his hand down my top and fondled me.”
She claims that he went on to repeat this on several occasions.
She added: “One day not long after this he sent my brother to the shop.
“Once he was gone he grabbed me, put his hand over my mouth and dragged me to the bedroom.
“To this day, when I close my eyes, I can still see the smirk on his face and smell the tobacco on his hands.”
Michelle said she fought back, biting and kicking, adding: “I was too scared to tell anyone because Campbell said if I did the shock would kill my grandfather.
“I really believed him and as a result kept quiet.”
When she was 19, Michelle says she finally told her mum and the police were told — but nothing ever came of it.
Michelle said she went on to rebuild her life because she said she had no option.
However, last December another one of Campbell’s alleged victims went to the police and the charges were brought against him.
Michelle explained: “I thought I had moved on but when I discovered that he was being charged and that I might be interviewed again it opened the whole can of worms up again for me.
“This has all been a complete nightmare for me.”
Pensioner hid dark secret from friends
To the outside world Campbell was a likeable elderly man who enjoyed a daily drink in the pub with friends.
But, unknown to pals and neighbours, the 71-year-old hid a dark secret.
On March 16 Campbell appeared on petition for the first time facing a string of sexual abuse charges. His body was found at his home in Downfield on March 24, eight days after the court appearance.
Campbell was accused of indecent behaviour towards a child between the age of 12 and 16, breach of the peace, indecent assault and lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour. He made no plea or declaration and was released on bail.
No date for a further hearing had been arranged.
The criminal case against him was at an early stage and a Crown Office spokesman confirmed the accused’s death means the procurator fiscal’s investigation into his alleged offences will now be dropped.
He said: “The procurator fiscal has received a report concerning the death of a 71-year-old man.
“This report remains under consideration. Following his death the case against him will be discontinued.”
‘Anyone in similar situation should report it’
During all the years that she claims Campbell was sexually abusing her, Michelle said she was too afraid to tell anyone.
She claimed he threatened and intimidated her and allegedly told her it could lead to the death of her beloved grandfather.
Michelle also said she was afraid no one would believe her and felt that, rather than being a victim, she was somehow responsible and guilty for what had allegedly happened. She said: “As a result, I never told anyone until three years afterwards when I told my mum. The police were contacted and I was interviewed for six hours.”
But Michelle said she never heard anything else and it never got as far as court, adding: “It was only after another alleged victim contacted the police last December that I learned 13 charges had actually been brought against Campbell in 1989.
“I’ve now learned these were dropped due to insufficient evidence. I was told it was his word against mine and the case probably wouldn’t stand a chance in court. He believed he got off with what he did to me.
“I’d encourage anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation to find the courage to speak up and report it.” https://www.eveningtelegraph.co.uk/fp/woman-46-says-alleged-dundee-sex-abuser-robbed-childhood/