Luke Mitchell has admitted he still thinks about victim Jodi Jones “every day” as he broke his silence for the first time since his murder conviction.
His mother, Corinne Mitchell, confirmed that a letter written by Luke and published contained his “own words”, adding: “It’s only right that he should finally have this opportunity to have his say.”
In 2003, Luke Mitchell’s girlfriend Jodi Jones was found dead near a path in Easthouses, Midlothian, when they were aged 14. Two years later, Mitchell, from Dalkeith, was given a minimum 20-year sentence having been found guilty of the girl’s murder.
The letter was made public by justice campaigner Sandra Lean. It comes after both Mitchell and his mother, who provided an alibi for him on the night of the murder, passed lie-detector tests.
In the letter, Mitchell said of Jodi: “I miss her all the time. Jodi was amazing. I didn’t realise how much I loved Jodi until she was taken from me.”
He also claims that when police arrived at the murder scene he was asked to take an officer to the body.
“I couldn’t. I couldn’t bring myself to go back over the wall,” said Mitchell. “Then an officer put me in the back of a police Land Rover and took my phone off me.”
Mitchell also said that, after Jodi’s body was found, he was put on antidepressants and sedatives by his GP, which made him appear “emotionless”.
Speaking of the trial, which he described as a “farce”, Mitchell said: “Lies were told. If I could give one message to those who doubted my innocence, it would be this – take a look at the real evidence in the case.
“The truth is, Jodi’s killer is still out there, free, and an innocent 15-year-old was put in their place.”
Mitchell’s legal team is finalising a submission to the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission in the hope that new evidence will help prove a miscarriage of justice.
Mrs Mitchell said: “This is the first time Luke has been allowed to talk. He wasn’t even allowed to take the stand at the trial. It gives the public the chance to see the real Luke after all of the made-up rubbish in the tabloids.”
Ms Lean, an author and researcher on the subject of miscarriages of justice, said: “Luke was convicted in two courts – the High Court and the court of public opinion. He sent the letter to me about how he felt and I asked him if I could let other people see.”
Jodi Jones’ mother, Judith Jones, could not be reached for comment.