Jodi Jones killer Luke Mitchell plots freedom bid as lawyers collect petition with 25,000 signatures
Mitchell's lawyer believes up to 122 items gathered as part of the investigation into Jodi's death were never forensically tested
Convicted killer Luke Mitchell is plotting another freedom bid, with his legal team set to hand a petition with over 25,000 signatures into the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday (November 16).
It comes amid claims his legal team have new evidence to show he didn’t murder his then-girlfriend, Midlothian schoolgirl Jodi Jones, on June 30, 2003.
Mitchell and Jodi started going out in about March 2003 after attending the same school – St David's Roman Catholic High School. They had only been dating for four months.
The schoolboy lived in Newbattle, near Easthouses, with his mother Corinne and his older brother.
Mitchell was convicted of murdering Jodi in 2005, when he was 16, following a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh.
He was sentenced to at least 20 years in prison, and has now been locked up for 17 years after losing three appeals.
At his trial, Mitchell was found guilty of attacking Jodi by hitting her on the head and body and compressing her neck, restricting her breathing.
He was also found guilty of stabbing the teenager with a knife before and after she died, inflicting wounds to her face, ear, mouth, breast and abdomen.
The jury in the trial heard Mitchell was a fan of controversial American rocker Marilyn Manson, who painted pictures depicting the gruesome “Black Dahlia” 1940s murder of Holywood actress Elizabeth Short.
Detectives believed Short’s murder was the inspiration for Jodi’s killing.
Prosecutors also told the jury how Mitchell was obsessed with Satanism.
The trial is believed to be the longest of a single accused in Scottish criminal history.
The jury took just over five hours to reach their decision, and in January 2005 Mitchell was convicted.
Now, lawyers acting for 31-year-old Mitchell are convinced they’ve unearthed errors by cops probing the murder.
The petition, to be handed into the Scottish Parliament at 2pm on Wednesday, is worded as follows: ‘The 2005 conviction of Luke Mitchell for the murder of Jodi Jones in 2003 requires an urgent and fully independent inquiry. There are far too many unanswered questions to consider this conviction safe.
‘In the spirit of true justice and transparency, we, the undersigned, demand that all evidence and information be released to an independent panel (not the SCCRC) for scrutiny, comment and recommendations. The people are willing to raise funds to contribute to the cost of such an inquiry.
‘There will be a peaceful vigil outside the Parliament on the same day.’
Lawyer Forbes has been taking a fresh look at the case and believes up to 122 items gathered as part of the investigation into Jodi's death were never forensically tested.
He said recently: “Forensic science has improved dramatically.
"I believe DNA samples that went untested will overhaul the conviction if we can examine them now.
“Without a doubt, that will prove Luke Mitchell did not kill Jodi.”
Last year, in a Channel 5 documentary titled Murder in a Small Town, two ex-cops questioned a lack of forensic evidence linking Mitchell to Jodi’s brutal slaying.
Her family has previously criticised those who plead his innocence.