[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 21 January, 2005, 13:57 GMT
Complex trial revealed Jodi truth
Luke Mitchell, pictured leaving the High Court in Edinburgh
Mitchell attacked and murdered Jodi at woods near their home
The trial of the teenage killer of Midlothian schoolgirl Jodi Jones took many twists and turns as complex and varied evidence was presented.

After 42 days, Luke Mitchell, 16, from Dalkeith, was convicted by majority verdict at the High Court in Edinburgh of killing his former girlfriend.

Jodi's body was found near Dalkeith on 30 June 2003 after she had set out from home, intending to meet Mitchell.

Mitchell had been 14 when he subjected Jodi to the savage knife attack.

The case had taken nearly three months, was restarted before a new jury, convened in four different locations and even ventured into the fresh air for an unusual visit to the murder scene itself.

It became what is believed to be the longest trial of a single accused in Scottish criminal history.

A tree from near the murder scene with the initials LM and JJ
A tree from near the murder scene with the initials LM and JJ

Mitchell was found guilty of attacking Jodi, of Parkhead Place, Easthouses, hitting her on the head and body and compressing her neck, restricting her breathing.

He also repeatedly stabbed Jodi with a knife both before and after she died, inflicting wounds to her face, ear, mouth, breast and abdomen.

During Mitchell's trial the prosecution made efforts to show just how a 14-year-old schoolboy could become, in the words of the prosecutor, a cool, confident, arrogant killer.

The jury heard Mitchell was a fan of controversial American rocker, Marilyn Manson.

The US star's website shows his obsession with a grotesque California murder in the 1940s, which became known as the Black Dahlia killing.

Death scene

A young starlet, Elizabeth Short, was killed and her body bizarrely mutilated.

Jodi's death and the wounds to her body held similarities, the prosecution argued.

In four interviews Mitchell gave to police, he came across as confident and collected.

Jodi Jones
Jodi's murder was described as "cruel and barbaric"

He even gave a TV interview as Jodi, whose body he had supposedly discovered, was being buried.

Forensic psychologist Ian Stephen, who advised on the television crime dramas Cracker and Prime Suspect, said that was in itself a clue.

He said: "The fact he kept attending school and insisted on trying to maintain as much normality as possible - and his mother insisted on this as well and made a big issue of it - seemed to me almost like a confession of guilt in some way."

The key event in the two-month trial came when jurors were taken to see for themselves the wall where Jodi's body was found.

A 30-metre section of the wall was recreated in the courtroom.

Jodi's family members said Mitchell had gone through the "V" and found her body as they searched for the missing schoolgirl.

He had claimed that his dog alerted him to something behind the wall.

Reproduction of the wall at the crime scene
The court saw an exact reproduction of the wall at the crime scene

The trial also heard how Mitchell's mobile phone records showed he had tried to concoct an unbreakable alibi.

After killing Jodi, he phoned her home to find out where she was.

On the night of her death, Jodi and Mitchell had been seen together at the start of Roan's Dyke.

It is still not known exactly what happened as they walked the path but Jodi's body was found in the woods half way along it.

Mitchell's story was he was at home all the time, making a meal, and that he was alone until his mother returned.

Alibi attempt

But the evidence of Luke's brother Shane was crucial.

Computer records revealed he was in the house viewing internet porn and he testified that he had taken precautions to ensure he was alone.

But Mitchell's mother Corinne backed his story, insisting he was in the house. Mrs Mitchell had stood by her son all the way through the trial.

Luke's mother Corinne Mitchell
Corinne Mitchell stood by her son throughout the trial

She also denied burning his clothes in the garden incinerator that night, but neighbours reported it had been on, giving off an unusual smell.

The murder weapon was never found, but five months after Jodi died, his mother bought Luke a knife similar to one he had lost.

Chillingly, he engraved Jodi's initials and dates on one side and a Satanic number on the other.

Mitchell maintained he and Jodi had a good relationship, but he was due to spend a fortnight with a secret girlfriend who looks uncannily like Jodi.

The fact that Mitchell was seeing another girl has been suggested as a possible source of dispute between the two teenagers.


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific