Widow's murder was just one of former detective's crimes

By Greg Ansley

CANBERRA - A corrupt former detective who married and killed a widow for her money while continuing affairs with three other women has come to the end of a sordid line.

Des Campbell, 52, has been convicted of pushing Janet Fisicaro off a 50m cliff, not even bothering to attend her funeral and shortly afterwards heading off on holiday with one of his lovers.

So callous was his behaviour that police rapidly began treating Fisicaro's death as murder, and built a case sufficiently damning to convince a jury of his guilt - even without physical evidence of the crime.

The jury did not hear the worst: they were not told the full history of his corruption, cheating, deceit and adultery.

The details from both the trial and sensational revelations have emerged since Campbell's conviction.

Campbell first surfaced publicly in 2000 when he exposed the depth of corruption in the Melbourne drug squad, telling Melbourne's Sunday Herald Sun that his decade with the Victoria police was a "long, endless rollercoaster of lies, fabrication of evidence, perjury, stealing and scams".

He had earlier quit the force while he was facing formal investigation, and returned to England, the country of his birth, where he served with the police in Surrey until he left after being accused of sexual assault and returned to Australia.

He joined the New South Wales Ambulance Service in the country town of Deniliquin where, with two broken marriages behind him, he met Fisicaro.

But he had already taken another woman for an expensive ride since his return.

Convinced that a British girlfriend, June Ingham, had received a large divorce settlement, Campbell convinced her to join him in Australia and was furious when she arrived without the fortune he was expecting.

He initially dumped her, then persuaded her to buy him a A$64,500 Lotus sports car on the promise they would live together.

When Ingham returned to Britain to prepare for the move he sold the car, used part of the money as a deposit on a house, and kept the rest.

After Campbell again dumped her, Ingham finally settled for the return of just A$9000, evidence to his trial, reported by the Australian, said.

In Deniliquin, a farming town near the Victorian border in southern NSW, Campbell began romancing Fisicaro, described as a lonely mother of one son whose husband had died some years earlier.

Campbell had been told Fisicaro was a rich widow and began courting her while describing her to others as a "fat ugly slut", and "pig ugly".

But Campbell was burdened by debts of up to A$35,000 and Fisicaro was worth money: by the time he killed her, Campbell had been given A$250,000 in cash, gifts and property, and stood to gain a further A$127,000 from her will.

In September 2004 the couple were married in secret - not even telling Fisicaro's son, Stephen - and bought a house in Otford, a village a day's drive away on the coast north of Wollongong.

In the meantime Campbell was involved in affairs with three other women.

On the 2005 Easter weekend Campbell took Fisicaro on a camping weekend at an isolated cliffside spot in Royal National Park, south of Sydney, and pushed her to her death.

The next Tuesday he was at their solicitor's office asking about the will, and preparing for a tropical Queensland holiday with one of his unsuspecting lovers.

A year later he married a Filipina he met on the internet, and moved to Wagga Wagga.

Campbell will be sentenced in July.

- NZ Herald

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