A convicted killer has finally been sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of a 17-year-old Northolt girl in 1981.

Colin Frederick Campbell, 66, formerly of Acton, was convicted of murdering Claire Woolterton, in Windsor, at Reading Crown Court on Wednesday and will serve a minimum of 24 years.

The mutilated body of Miss Woolterton, who lived in Northolt, was found dumped on a towpath along the River Thames on August 28, 1981.

She had been sexually assaulted and her throat had been cut.

Thames Valley Police have published a statement on behalf Miss Woolterton’s family – Claire’s mother Carol Woolterton, her brothers Nicky and Phillip, who recently passed away, and stepfather Terry Pearce. 

They said: “We welcome the fact justice has now been served and Claire’s murderer has been identified and sentenced after more than 30 years. However, this doesn’t bring Claire back to us or in any way compensate Colin Campbell’s cruel act.

“Claire’s murder had a shocking and distressing permanent effect on our lives. We have been emotionally scarred for life and have a very cynical outlook to life now. Claire was a precious young teenager in the prime of her life with everything to look forward to. She was only 17 years of age, a lovely bright hard-working girl who was very popular with her friends, showing a great sense of humour and kindness in helping others.

Colin Frederick Campbell who was in 2013 convicted of the 1981 murder of Claire Woolterton
Convicted killer Colin Frederick Campbell (below: old custody images)
 

“Claire went out to meet some friends and never came home. We never had the chance to say goodbye. Colin Campbell is an evil wicked individual; he destroyed Claire’s hopes, Claire’s dreams and Claire’s life. He murdered Claire in the most cold-hearted brutal fashion and has exhibited no remorse for the act he committed.

“You don’t get over something like this, you have to learn to live with it and we have no choice.

“We would like to thank the Thames Valley Police Major Crime Review Team, the Crown Prosecution Service and the prosecution QC Peter Wright and his team for their enormous effort in bringing the murderer to trial and to face the consequences of his horrific act.”

Campbell went on to kill 29-year-old Deirdre Sainsbury and dumped her body in a wooded area off Denham Golf Course, Buckinghamshire, in 1984, for which he is serving a life sentence. He now must serve a minimum of 24 years, concurrent to his current sentence.