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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 February 2008, 20:54 GMT
Mitchell 'made to look sinister'
Marilyn Manson
Marilyn Manson was 'used to make Mitchell look sinister'
Sinister imagery by rock star Marilyn Manson was used in order to "blacken" Luke Mitchell's character at his trial, according to his defence team.

Donald Findlay QC told the appeal court in Edinburgh that the US-based musician's violent imagery, shown to the jury, "amounted to nothing".

Mitchell is serving a minimum of 20 years after being convicted of murdering Jodi Jones on 30 June, 2003.

Similarities between Manson's artwork and Jodi's injuries were suggested.

At the trial in 2004, the jury was told that was Manson was fascinated with the 1947 murder of would-be Hollywood actress Elizabeth Short, known as the Black Dahlia.

Suggested influence

Imagery featuring her injuries appeared in the artwork of one of his CDs bought by Mitchell after the murder, it emerged at the trial.

In his summing up Allan Turnbull QC, prosecuting, suggested that Jodi's murder had been influenced by the unsolved Black Dahlia case, though the injuries she suffered did not exactly match those of the actress.

Donald Findlay QC said: "This was a deliberate and calculated attempt by a highly-experienced prosecutor to blacken the character of the young man, even in the knowledge that, evidentially, it amounted to nothing."

He claimed that there was no evidence that Mitchell had seen the images before the murder.

This was a deliberate and calculated attempt by a highly-experienced prosecutor to blacken the character of the young man
Donald Findlay QC

"It is clear the Crown tried to point to some connection between the injuries inflicted on Jodi and those found, at the time, on Elizabeth Short, who had been cut in two," he added.

"The truth is there were more differences than similarities.

"The danger in this case was that if there were impressed on the jury the notion of the sinister, then everything would be viewed as being sinister and that, in my submission, was a deliberate act on the part of the Crown."

Mr Findlay claims that there was not sufficient evidence to find Mitchell guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

The hearing is sitting before Lords Hamilton, Osborne and Kingarth and is set to continue for another week.

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