A pensioner who told of a terrifying ordeal in which he was repeatedly stabbed in an attempt on his life has been unmasked as a paedophile .
In a newspaper report Harry Campbell described the horrific injuries he suffered before he was left for dead.
But his victims – furious at what they deemed a bid for sympathy – contacted Cleveland Police about the abuse he inflicted on them as children
The 68-year-old is today starting a nine-year jail sentence, with a judge telling him he “robbed” his victims of their childhood
Frail Campbell was left in a pool of his own blood after Glyn Sullivan repeatedly stabbed him with a 12in blade inside his home in Boosbeck, Redcar and Cleveland.
Sullivan was jailed for life for the frenzied attack, which put Campbell in a coma.
But after being hailed a “gentle, kind and helpful” dog lover in the wake of the attack, Cleveland Police were alerted to his past by one of his victims.
Judge Stephen Ashurst said: “They knew there was another side of Harry Campbell.”
That side, Teesside Crown Court heard, involved committing depraved sex attacks on “extremely vulnerable” children as young as seven.
The attacks were so appalling, if he committed them today he would have faced life in prison .
But as Campbell committed the offences in the 1970s and 80s, Judge Ashurst had no choice be to sentence him using the “woefully inadequate” guidelines of the time.
Despite making a “remarkably good recovery” from the 2014 attack, his solicitor admitted life inside has been hard since he was remanded following his conviction.
Peter Sabiston said: “He’s finding prison very difficulty, not only because of the nature of the convictions but because of his frailty.
“The man in the dock is not the man who committed the offences.”
Monday’s sentencing heard that man’s cruel actions left his three victims needing counselling.
“It had a major impact on each of their lives,” added Judge Ashurst.
“They are unable to trust other adults.”
It took a jury six hours to convict Campbell of several counts last month, including indecent assault.
The CPS confirmed it wouldn’t seek a retrial on four charges the jury failed to make a decision on, with Judge Ashurst declaring Campbell not guilty of those.
Shaking his head, Campbell whimpered “no” after the court heard lurid details of the offences.
But Judge Ashurst said that despite previously unconvicted Campbell’s age, he had no choice but to cage him.
“The fact that you are 68 as these matters have come to light is neither here nor there,” said the judge.
“It may well be that the jury’s verdicts and the realisation of what you did may allow them – even at this late stage – to move on.”
With the aid of a walking stick, Campbell, of Brookside, was taken down by guards after he was jailed for nine years, with a further year on licence.
He won’t be eligible for automatic release halfway through his sentence.
Paedophile who was almost murdered faces jail for child abuse
He was described as a ‘gentle, kind and helpful’ man who was devoted to his dogs after he was tortured and left for dead in a pool of his own blood.
But in fact Harry Campbell was a paedophile who had carried out a series of sex attacks on young boys and girls.
He’s now been convicted of three offences against children as young as seven and has been told to expect a lengthy jail sentence.
Teesside Crown Court heard that the 68-year-old almost lost his life when he was set upon by a man who severely beat him up and who in turn is now serving a life sentence.
His house was ransacked, his suffered head injuries, bleeding on the brain, knife wounds, fractures to the face and jaw, and was kept in an induced coma.
Following the attack he was described as a kind man who was devoted to his dogs.
But, he had kept the secret of his child abuse a secret since the 70s and 80s when he targeted young children.
Campbell was found guilty of three charges – the jury did not come to a decision on two others and he may face a retrial.
He was cleared of making a boy and girl, aged five and seven, watch him have sex with his ex-girlfriend.
Praising the jury for listening to what he described as a ‘difficult’ case, Judge Ashurst said Campbell’s victims would be offered the chance to attend the sentencing hearing.
After the ruling Campbell appeared crestfallen, gazing vacantly ahead in silence as he was told he would be heading straight to jail.
Frail Campbell, of Brookside in Boosbeck, is already starting what is likely to be a lengthy prison sentence after judge Stephen Ashurst said: “To grant him bail at this stage would be offering him false hope.”
Monday’s hearing heard Campbell’s GP will be asked to give an update on his health ahead of his sentencing.
That is expected to detail how he is recovering from the vicious beating he endured.
The trial heard Sullivan repeatedly stabbed Campbell repeatedly with a 12 inch knife which was caked in blood.
Campbell was found in a pool of his own blood at his home which had been “ransacked”, suffering head injuries, brain bleeding, knife wounds and fractures to the face and jaw.
He was kept in an induced coma before he underwent six hours of surgery.
It took a jury around the same amount of time to convict Campbell, who had denied a total of 11 charges, after they began deliberations on Friday.