I did not inspire Jodi's killer, says rock star Marilyn Manson

Key points

• Manson lays blame on upbringing of Luke Mitchell

• Detectives believe teen killing was inspired by murder of a 1940s Hollywood actress

• Mitchell's legal team planning to appeal murder conviction

Key quote

"What I do know is that it is all about the education that parents give their children and the influences they receive, not putting the blame elsewhere" - singer Marilyn Manson commenting on the Jodi Jones case

Story in full: GOTH rock star Marilyn Manson yesterday dismissed suggestions that his work may have inspired the teenage killer of schoolgirl Jodi Jones and instead laid the blame on the upbringing Luke Mitchell received from his parents.

Mitchell, convicted last month of murdering his girlfriend in Dalkeith, Midlothian, on 30 June, 2003, when they were both 14, learned on Friday that he must spend at least 20 years behind bars.

Jodi was stripped, bound and stabbed to death in woods between her home in Easthouses and Newbattle, where Mitchell, now 16, lived with his mother, Corinne, and older brother, Shane.

The schoolgirl’s death and her injuries bore similarities to the gruesome "Black Dahlia" murder of 1940s Hollywood actress Elizabeth Short.

Paintings by Manson depicting the mutilated body of the murdered actress were shown to the jury during the schoolboy’s trial.

Detectives believed the woman’s murder was the inspiration for Jodi’s killing after it emerged Mitchell was an avid fan of Manson.

Lord Nimmo Smith, the trial judge at the High Court in Edinburgh, said he believed Mitchell had carried an image of those paintings in his mind when he killed Jodi.

Detectives also studied a DVD named Doppelherz by the controversial rock singer which Mitchell bought two days after he committed his crime, further implicating the star in the trial.

However, in a newspaper interview yesterday, the American singer denied that his work had any influence on the crime.

He admitted he had heard of the Jodi case but he did not want "to give it much publicity".

"What I do know is that it is all about the education that parents give their children and the influences they receive, not putting the blame elsewhere," he said.

Passing sentence, Lord Nimmo Smith also said Mitchell’s heavy cannabis use may have been a factor in the murder, while "with hindsight", his upbringing may also have contributed.

Nor could the boy’s obsession with Satanism be dismissed as "mere adolescent rebellion", the judge added.

"I think that is a sign that you found evil attractive and that you thought that there might be a kind of perverted glamour in doing something wicked," he said.

"I do not feel able to ignore the fact that there was a degree of resemblance between the injuries inflicted on Jodi and those shown in the Marilyn Manson paintings of Elizabeth Short that we saw.

"I think that you carried an image of the paintings in your memory when you killed Jodi," the judge said.

Defence counsel Donald Findlay, QC, said his client continued to maintain his innocence, and told the court on Friday: "Whatever is said about Luke ... so long as that young man maintains to me he did not kill Jodi, the fight to clear his name will go on."

Meanwhile, a second lawyer representing Mitchell yesterday launched a scathing attack on the legal team that secured the murder conviction.

Nigel Beaumont said that despite new rules of disclosure and assurances before the trial that all information would be shared, prosecutors had "sprung a whole chapter of evidence on the defence by surprise".

Speaking after sentence was passed, Mr Beaumont also confirmed his legal team are to appeal the murder conviction.

"The Crown’s position at the beginning of the case was that they were going to disclose everything to us," he said.

"What they did disclose was everything except the things that they wanted to keep secret.

"That is quite an important point and is just one of the areas we will be looking at."