Page last updated at 17:39 GMT, Friday, 22 February 2008

Mitchell lawyers given deadline

Luke Mitchell
Luke Mitchell has appealed for his murder conviction to be overturned

Judges hearing the appeal of convicted killer Luke Mitchell have given his lawyers four weeks to lodge fresh evidence in a bid to clear his name.

Both prosecution and defence teams have now presented their submissions at the appeal court in Edinburgh.

Mitchell was found guilty of murdering his girlfriend Jodi Jones, 14, from Dalkeith, Midlothian, in June 2003.

However Donald Findlay QC has requested that evidence from new witnesses about another suspect is heard.

The Court of Criminal Appeal was first asked to consider hearing about the possible new suspect, named in court as Mark Kane, 28, of Stirling, in December last year.

'Work in progress'

But Mr Findlay said at least one witness had still to be interviewed and described the task of preparing a file of sworn statements for the court to consider as "a work in progress".

Judges said they were not prepared to either grant his request or refuse it and set the four week deadline by which time he must lodge any further evidence.

Earlier Crown counsel, John Beckett QC, said no new information that supported Mitchell's case, had come to light.

He insisted the case was not a miscarriage of justice and claimed there is no reason for his conviction to be overturned.

DNA evidence has already ruled out Mr Kane, he added.

A written judgement will be issued at a later day by the appeal court.

Mitchell, 19, was jailed for life in 2004 for murdering 14-year-old Jodi.




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