£10k appeal launched to clear schoolboy killer Luke Mitchell of Jodi Jones murder
A £10,000 gofundme appeal has been launched in a fresh move to clear schoolboy killer Luke Mitchell of murdering his teenage sweetheart.
Mitchell, now 31, was jailed for life for the killing Jodi Jones, 14, in 2005. He was also 14 at the time and was just 15 when he went on trial.
Tragic Jodi was found in woodland near her home in Easthouses, Midlothian, in 2003. Her hands had been tied behind her back, her throat cut and her body repeatedly slashed.
Mitchell’s mother Corinne, 60, believes a knife found hidden near where she was attacked could be key to overturning his conviction, which was secured on circumstantial evidence.
The kitchen knife with a six-inch blade was found secreted in a drystone dyke about 300 yards from the murder scene. It is said to have been handed to police more than three years ago.
Earlier this year, Mitchell’s supporters revealed they want it to be forensically examined for a connection to the case.
Mitchell has had four previous attempts to overturn his conviction.
Two were rejected on appeal and a bid to have his case referred to the UK Supreme Court was denied at the High Court in Edinburgh.
Another appeal was refused by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, which investigates miscarriages of justice.
Now, justice campaigner and criminologist Dr Sandra Lean has appealed for £10,000 to help fund her fight on Mitchell’s behalf.
In her statement on the gofundme appeal site, she wrote: “Your money will provide the time needed to create a solid foundation for a complete review of the case and the possibility of finally obtaining true justice, for Luke and for Jodi.
“We need to move quickly. For the first time since 2003, there is a huge amount of positive interest in the case. Most people don’t realise that Luke’s sentence is “without limit” - unless the conviction is overturned, there is no release date for him. And without a proper foundation, creating the conditions to review the case is an almost impossible task.
“Your support will mean that I can dedicate much more time to systematically creating a permanent, searchable record of all the details of the case which, in turn, will mean that we can quickly and accurately provide information for experts who can help review the case.”
She added: “It has been frustrating and disheartening to have to try to do this work in small bursts between other commitments. To be able to concentrate fully, for extended periods of time, means we will finally, once and for all, have permanent records that can be accessed in an instant.
“With your help, we have the best possible chance of discovering the truth about what really happened to Jodi ... and who was really responsible.”