A MAN once convicted of a sectarian murder has been cleared of assaulting a nine-year-old boy.
Jason Campbell was in the dock again almost 20 years after he slashed the throat of a young Celtic supporter.
The 41-year-old man, appearing at Glasgow Sheriff Court, had been accused of attacking a child while looking after him at his home in the city’s east end.
A police probe began after the nine-year-old wrote in his school book that his “biggest achievement” in the previous year was not committing suicide.
The boy claimed in court that he once locked himself in the bathroom to get away from Campbell.
The convicted murderer – who appeared from custody - denied the assault charge.
He was cleared following two days of evidence after his lawyer successfully argued Campbell had no case to answer.
After Campbell was cleared, several of his supporters gave him the thumbs up as he left the dock.
The schoolboy had earlier given evidence via video link and told how Campbell would often look after him at the child’s family home in the city’s Dennistoun area.
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Campbell had been released from prison three years ago after he was jailed for life in 1996 for killing 16-year-old Mark Scott as he walked home from a Celtic match.
The nine-year-old relayed an alleged incident when Campbell was said to have pulled him by the hair.
The child told the trial: “I was playing my Xbox... Jason came in the room, grabbed me and pulled me away.”
The boy claimed he remembered Campbell being “frustrated”.
The youngster said he was held the way someone would “squeeze a stress ball”.
He went on: “I then ran into my room – I went into my bed and put the covers over me.
“I did that to protect me in case he came in again.”
The court then heard about another alleged incident when Campbell is said to have grabbed the child by the chest.
The boy said he had been jumping on a couch as Campbell attended to another child in the flat.
Campbell was described as “angry” before the boy was left “frightened”.
The accusations did not come to light until earlier this year following a school assignment the child had been set.
Having been asked what he had achieved in the last year, the boy wrote his “biggest achievement” was “not committing suicide”.
This was passed to the headteacher before the authorities were alerted and the assault claims were probed.
The youngster said he wrote this due to what allegedly happened with Campbell and a separate issue with another child at school.
Fiscal Tracey Paterson went on: “That’s how you genuinely felt because of the boy and what Jason Campbell had done?”
The child replied: “Yes.”
Campbell’s lawyer Neil McCulloch later put to the child that the hair pulling incident was “not true”, but the boy insisted it happened.
Quizzed about the “suicide” remark, Mr McCulloch asked the boy: “Is it not really the case that being upset at this other boy was the only reason that you had written this thing?”
The witness replied: “No.”
Campbell had denied assaulting the boy on various occasions between December last year and April this year.
The child’s mother also gave evidence – and she insisted the attacks did not happen.
Campbell’s solicitor Mr McCulloch argued at the end of the prosecution testimony that there was no case to answer.
Sheriff Joan Kerr upheld the submission adding she had also been “deeply troubled” by the “quality” of certain evidence.
Campbell had moved back to the city’s Bridgeton area after being freed from his life sentence in 2011.
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