Dad tells of rescue with daughter of hanging man in Beckton

Robin Campbell and his 10-year-old daughter Sophie.

Robin Campbell and his 10-year-old daughter Sophie. - Credit: Archant

A father has told of a dramatic rescue bid with his nine-year-old daughter which saw them save a man’s life after they found him hanging from a tree.

Robin Campbell (L) and his daughter Sophie with Newham borough commander Rob Jones

Robin Campbell (L) and his daughter Sophie with Newham borough commander Rob Jones - Credit: Archant

Robin Campbell, 43, was cycling with his little girl, Sophie, when they spotted the body near Sainsbury’s supermarket in Beckton.

“We saw this guy hanging there,” said Robin, a bicycle mechanic. “I phoned the police, but I thought ‘I can get this guy down faster than them’.

“I tried to lift his body up, but that didn’t really work because he was unconscious. He just flopped over.”

Realising the urgency of the situation, Robin sent his daughter to the nearby supermarket to fetch something with which to cut the body down.

“I thought Sophie was quite calm,” the proud dad said. “She had seen everything that was there, she went right up to the guy. I think she thought he was a dummy - I think it was a way of rationalising it.”

But security guards would not give Sophie the tools her dad needed, and the quick-thinking duo had to return together to persuade staff to lend a hand.

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Robin, of Langton Avenue in East Ham, said: “I think they were a bit freaked out, the guy looked quite scary hanging there.

“We cut him out of the tree. A guy from Sainsbury’s held him as we cut him out of the tree. We put him on the ground and then the police arrived.”

The man was then resuscitated by cops at the scene of the incident on the evening in June.

Newham Police have now recognised the courage of Robin and Sophie’s actions, with borough commander Rob Jones handing them a commendation. Sophie, who is now 10, was also given vouchers for the Barbie shop in Westfield.

“Although this must have been a very traumatic experience for Mr Campbell and his daughter, their outstanding actions undoubtedly saved the life of a young man,” the borough commander said. “This is a fantastic example of human kindness and public spirit.”

“Hopefully whatever was upsetting the guy at the time was just something temporary,” Robin added.