Jodi Jones murder: what happened to the teenager murdered in Midlothian - and who is her killer Luke Mitchell?

Convicted killer Luke Mitchell claims he was framed for the brutal murder of Jodi Jones (inset) (PA Media)Convicted killer Luke Mitchell claims he was framed for the brutal murder of Jodi Jones (inset) (PA Media)
Convicted killer Luke Mitchell claims he was framed for the brutal murder of Jodi Jones (inset) (PA Media)
New Channel 5 documentary Murder in a Small Town re-examines the death of Jodi who was killed near her Easthouses home

A new television series investigating the murder of Easthouses teenager Jodi Jones is set to air again on Thursday (25 February).

The schoolgirl’s death is re-examined in Channel 5’s Murder in a Small Town, a two-part documentary.

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In the programme, convicted killer Luke Mitchell claims he was framed for the brutal murder of his then-girlfriend Jodi, 14, in 2003.

So, what happened to Jodi Jones, who is Luke Mitchell - and what does he say in the Channel 5 series?

Here is everything you need to know.

What happened to Jodi Jones?

Teenager Jodi was from Easthouses, Midlothian.

The 14-year-old was a pupil at St David's Roman Catholic High School, along with Mitchell who was also 14 at the time.

On 30 June 2003, Jodi left her family home to visit Mitchell but the alarm was raised when she failed to arrive at his house or return home.

Jodi had been taking a shortcut along a woodland path to get to Mitchell’s house when she was brutally attacked.

Her body was found on the path known as Roan’s Dyke, near her home, by Mitchell and members of her family at about 10:30pm.

The schoolgirl’s hands had been tied behind her back, her throat had been cut and her body was repeatedly slashed.

Who is Luke Mitchell?

Mitchell and Jodi started going out in about March 2003 after attending the same school.

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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.

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.

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The jury took just over five hours to reach their decision, and in January 2005 Mitchell was convicted.

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 turned down at the High Court in Edinburgh.

Another appeal was refused by miscarriage of justice investigators at the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission.

What does Mitchell say in the documentary?

In Murder in a Small Town, two former detectives reopen Jodi’s case.

They claim to have uncovered details of other male DNA found at the crime scene, and new information about another male from a witness living in the area at the time.

In the Channel 5 programme, Mitchell goes over how he found Jodi while searching for her with other locals, including her family, after her disappearance.

“I was the local weirdo. It was easy to put on me,” he says in phone calls from jail.

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He insists he was framed for Jodi’s murder and says he would never admit to it, even if it meant an immediate release from jail.

Mitchell tells the documentary: “I can’t be more clear. I absolutely did not kill Jodi and I’ve been locked up for a crime I didn’t commit.

“I will not admit to something I’ve not done. I want to clear my name."

He also claims two police officers tried to bully him into admitting he murdered girlfriend by telling him: “Confess you little b*****d.”