Author Topic: The murder of 14 year-old schoolgirl Jodi Jones near Edinburgh on 30 June 2003  (Read 211995 times)

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John

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On 30 June 2003, fourteen-year-old Jodi Jones was brutally murdered near her home at Easthouses near Edinburgh, Scotland. Her naked body was found some 6 hours later hidden behind a high wall in a wooded area bordering Roan's Dyke footpath, a well known local short-cut running between Easthouses and Newbattle. Jodi had been subjected to what prosecutors would later describe in court as a "savage knife attack."

Early in the investigation the police suggested that the killer would be a man local to the area because of the location of where the murder took place. It was established that Jodi had set out earlier that afternoon to meet her then boyfriend, Luke Mitchell (14). Her mutilated body was later found by Mitchell, who had joined a search party that included Jodi's 67 year-old grandmother, Alice Walker, her 17 year-old sister Janine, and Janine's boyfriend, Stephen Kelly (19). The fact that Mitchell and his dog discovered the body so quickly despite a search at night, in poor weather, would later play a major part in the criminal investigation.



Luke Mitchell on the day of Jodi's funeral.

Mitchell was initially questioned as a witness but was eventually arrested and charged with the crime some 10 months later following months of media speculation, including the repeated claim that the then 15-year-old was the "only" or "prime" suspect. At Mitchell's trial at the High Court of Justiciary in Edinburgh he pleaded not guilty and lodged a special defence of alibi, claiming that he was at home cooking dinner at the time of the murder. During the 42-day trial which followed, the jury heard evidence from both Mitchell's mother and his brother Shane, as well as visiting the crime scene. The evidence of Shane Mitchell was crucial to the conviction; he stated that at the time of the murder, he had been at the family home, viewing internet porn. He agreed that this was not an activity he would have engaged in if he thought anyone else was in the house and so he failed to corroborate Mitchell's alibi. The trial was the longest of a single accused, and the costliest at £452,687, in Scottish legal history.

On 21 January 2005, the jury found Mitchell guilty after 5 hours of deliberation. Mitchell, aged sixteen at the time of his conviction, was condemned as being "truly wicked" by Judge Lord Nimmo Smith. He was also found guilty of a separate charge of supplying cannabis.

« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 02:41:AM by John »

John

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In March 2006, Mitchell was granted leave to appeal against his conviction and sentence at the High Court of Justiciary sitting as the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh, on the grounds of the trial judge's refusal to hear the original case outside of the city.

In November 2006, Luke Mitchell won the right to appeal against his conviction for murder. Mitchell's legal team had wanted a number of grounds for appeal to be heard but the judges said only one would be allowed. Scotland's senior judge, the Lord Justice General, Lord Hamilton said they would allow a ground of appeal claiming that the trial judge erred in refusing to move Mitchell's case out of Edinburgh following publicity ahead of the proceedings. Lord Hamilton, who was sitting with Lord Kingarth and Lord MacLean, said: "We have come, with some hesitation, to the view that this ground is arguable." "There is an argument that the trial judge failed adequately to take into account the circumstances that the publicity might have had an impact of particular strength not only in the immediate locality of the crime but in a somewhat wider area embracing the city of Edinburgh and other towns in the Lothians," he said. There was a huge media fanfare surrounding the trial and this may have affected the final outcome. The fact that the jury were not put into a hotel for the night of the decision has also been cited as a factor.

The Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh heard Mitchell's appeal in February 2008, but on 16 May 2008 the judges' verdict was given. Sitting over the appeal were Lord Osborne, Lord Kingarth and Lord Hamilton, who delivered the decision. They ruled that there was sufficient evidence in law that Luke Mitchell could be convicted on and rejected his other grounds of appeal, yet stated that police questioning of Mitchell on 14 August 2003 had been "outrageous" and was "to be deplored."

On 2 February 2011, Mitchell's appeal against his sentence was refused by a two to one majority. Lord Justice Clerk, Lord Gill, sitting with Lord Hardie and Lady Cosgrove stated that he had the utmost sympathy for the family of the victim and that he understood entirely why this murder should have caused such public revulsion. Nevertheless, he was of the opinion that the sentencing judge should not have imposed a punishment part of such severity on such a young offender. He stated that justice would be done in this case if the punishment part of the sentence were fixed at 15 years. He did not consider that they were precluded from that disposal by anything said in the guidance given in HM Adv v Boyle and Ors (supra). He regretted, therefore, that he had to differ from his two colleagues.



Luke Mitchell leaves court following his failed sentence appeal in January 2011.

Appeal against Conviction decision

Appeal against sentence decision
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 02:44:AM by John »

John

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Mitchell was convicted purely on circumstantial evidence since the investigators had failed to provide any forensic evidence which connected him to the scene of the murder. Several DNA profiles were lifted from the site of the murder but remain unidentified to this day.

Mitchell never gave evidence in court in his defence. His mother states that this was on the advice of his Counsel, Donald Findlay QC and was a mistake as he should have been allowed to speak to his defence.

There are several factors which undermine Mitchell's contention that he was home with his mother and brother at the time Jodi Jones was alleged to have been murdered at 5.15pm on Monday 30 June 2003. Mitchell's mother and those who advocate for him have never been able to explain these anomalies.....

1. Mitchell's alibi on the day of the murder was that he was at home with his brother Shane after 4pm and that they were both there when his mother arrived home at 5.15pm. He stated that all three had dinner in the house. In his evidence however before the court, Shane failed to corroborate this and stated that he had not seen his brother in the house. He went on to say that he could have been there but he just didn't see him.  Luke Mitchell claims to have prepared the meal and its is his mothers claims that he burned the chicken pie. This is all very strange since such activity would generate noise and fumes and none were detected by Shane who was apparently sitting in his bedroom upstairs surfing porn sites on his computer. Shane admitted in court that he would not have done so had he known anyone else was in the house.

2. Mitchell's return from school on the day of the murder is unwitnessed.  The first confirmed sighting of him by three school boys was at 5.55pm when he was observed sitting on a low wall at the end of his street.  This is unusual in that there was normally lots of school kids wandering about the Crescent after school. To have walked home from school unseen is highly improbable unless off course he didn't want to be seen on that particular day.

3. When Luke Mitchell was alerted that his girlfriend was missing he arranged to meet a search party at the end of the path which Jodi would have taken. At 10.51pm Luke set of in the darkness with the family Alsatian bitch leading him. Their route would have taken them past the spot where Jodi's body lay yet it is Mitchell's claim that the dog did not react to her scent, a scent the dog knew extremely well.  It was only on the return journey with the search party in tow that Mitchell claims the dog reacted to the scent which resulted in them discovering the body. It was the Prosecution's contention that Mitchell had special knowledge as to where the body lay and so was able to take the search party directly to it.

Offline Roch

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What's your stance on this case John? It sounds familiar, think i can remember it being in the news a lot.
"She was on a mission - a date with death, in league with the devil..." 

(Mike Tesko 2012)

Offline Suzie

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What's your stance on this case John? It sounds familiar, think i can remember it being in the news a lot.

You may find this site interesting RDP. Has quite a lot of information.

http://caseblog.wronglyaccusedperson.org.uk/luke-mitchell-is-innocent/

Edit; forgot link.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2011, 06:06:PM by Suzie »

John

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What's your stance on this case John? It sounds familiar, think i can remember it being in the news a lot.

Hi RDP,

My stance?...well that is an interesting question since it has changed somewhat the further I investigated this case. 

At the outset I could not believe that what was being alleged could ever possibly have occurred but like most things the passage of time and the uncovering of certain inconsistencies has led me to believe that there is doubt.  My stance therefore can be defined as going from believing Mitchell was innocent to now sitting on the fence with several unanswered questions.

It is not as if the questions haven't been asked of those who are closest to Mitchell, it is a matter that they choose to either ignore them or cannot answer them.

In relation to the website which the previous poster has chosen to highlight, I must warn that this is a pro Mitchell site and will not allow anti Mitchell arguments to be raised. It should not therefore be taken seriously in any way since it is not a true forum but a front for a most heinous slander campaign being conducted against the victims family.

I would also add that the poster Suzie is none other than the Wrongly Accused Person site owner who is reputed for his scamming and spamming, the above post being such an example.






« Last Edit: March 28, 2011, 06:43:PM by John »

Offline Suzie

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What's your stance on this case John? It sounds familiar, think i can remember it being in the news a lot.

Hi RDP,

My stance?...well that is an interesting question since it has changed somewhat the further I investigated this case. 

At the outset I could not believe that what was being alleged could ever possibly have occurred but like most things the passage of time and the uncovering of certain inconsistencies has led me to believe that there is doubt.  My stance therefore can be defined as going from believing Mitchell was innocent to now sitting on the fence with several unanswered questions.

It is not as if the questions haven't been asked of those who are closest to Mitchell, it is a matter that they choose to either ignore them or cannot answer them.

In relation to the website which the previous poster has chosen to highlight, I must warn that this is a pro Mitchell site and will not allow anti Mitchell arguments to be raised. It should not therefore be taken seriously in any way since it is not a true forum but a front for a most heinous slander campaign being conducted against the victims family.

I would also add that the poster Suzie is none other than the Wrongly Accused Person site owner who is reputed for his scamming and spamming, the above post being such an example.

I posted the above link as some readers may find it interesting, I don't think this counts as "scamming and spamming". I am not the owner of that site, I only have an interest in how the justice system in this country can go badly wrong and innocent people and their family's can be victims of this.

You are correct John, this is a pro Mitchell site but I have seen posters disagree and as long as posts are not disrespectful or abusive this is not objected to.

I have yet to find any posts that I would consider a " heinous slander campaign " towards the family, there was an instance some time ago that a poster sent an abusive message to the victims Mother but that was dealt with and the poster was banned.




John

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Accusing just about everyone within the Jones extended family of being either a murderer or complicit in murder in order to somehow exonerate Luke Mitchell is the most heinous misuse ever of a public forum.

John

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Maybe you can explain why Mrs hall was also banned and blocked from accessing the forum?

There is a big difference between fact and fantasy with the WAP forum falling into the latter category.  Luke Mitchell had every opportunity to commit murder on his 14 year-old girlfriend. He had the motive, the means and the opportunity.

The sad excuse for an alibi that he was at home preparing dinner at 5.15pm on Monday 30 June 2003 while Jodi Jones had her throat cut and was thereafter mutilated just doesn't cut it as far as the evidence by his own brother has it. He was charged with perverting the course of justice as was his mother. They were also warned in court as to the consequences of perjury. Says it all really doesn't it?
« Last Edit: March 28, 2011, 08:01:PM by John »

Offline Suzie

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Accusing just about everyone within the Jones extended family of being either a murderer or complicit in murder in order to somehow exonerate Luke Mitchell is the most heinous misuse ever of a public forum.

If that were the case then yes it would be, I have posted the link as I said to bring to the attention a site I found interesting. On a relevant thread for other forum members.  I will let those said members judge for themselves.

Offline Suzie

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Maybe you can explain why Mrs hall was also banned and blocked from accessing the forum?

There is a big difference between fact and fantasy with the WAP forum falling into the latter category.  Luke Mitchell had every opportunity to commit murder on his 14 year-old girlfriend. He had the motive, the means and the opportunity.

The sad excuse for an alibi that he was at home preparing dinner at 5.15pm on Monday 30 June 2003 while Jodi Jones had her throat cut and was thereafter mutilated just doesn't cut it as far as the evidence by his own brother has it. He was charged with perverting the course of justice as was his mother. They were also warned in court as to the consequences of perjury. Says it all really doesn't it?

I can honestly say I have no idea what the answer to that question is, I have nothing to do with it.


  My stance therefore can be defined as going from believing Mitchell was innocent to now sitting on the fence with several unanswered questions.
You call that sitting on the fence ::)
I have no desire to continue this conversation, I only wished, as I said to post the link.

John

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Yes, it's called sitting on the fence when one cannot decide if a person is guilt or not guilty.

You obviously don't understand the concept since you advocate for Mitchell and have taken the trouble to register here solely in order to promote his poorly presented website.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2011, 08:38:PM by John »

Offline Suzie

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No, I registered here as I had read a few articles/posts elsewhere about the JB case and I am still reading this extensive site.   I posted the link as I have done the same on that site. ( am I not saying it right? )


 Just so we both know where I am at, I am laughing as I type this, I cant help it, I'll leave it at I recommend it, worth a read, but then someone said that to me about the twilight books and look how that turned out ;D

John

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... there was an instance some time ago that a poster sent an abusive message to the victims Mother but that was dealt with and the poster was banned.

There are only two people who know the truth about this and neither of them is called Suzie.

Try Mrs Sandra Lean or Billy Middleton.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2011, 09:26:PM by John »

Offline Suzie

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... there was an instance some time ago that a poster sent an abusive message to the victims Mother but that was dealt with and the poster was banned.

There are only two people who know the truth about this and neither of them is called Suzie.

Try Mrs Sandra Lean or Billy Middleton.

I already posted a reply but it seems to have vanished into cyber space, if it comes back, well this will explain that I'm not 2 sheets to the wind ;D

If they read any of the numerous forums out there that the message was discussed on then yes they will definitely know about it.
The chances of them being the only two are non existant.