LUKE Mitchell, who is serving life for the murder of teenager Jodi Jones, has spoken of the night he found her body as he talked publicly about his bid to clear his name for the first time.

Mitchell, who was 14 when Jodi was killed, said he still gets flashbacks to the moment when he discovered the teenager's body in woodland not far from each of their homes in Midlothian in June 2003.

Mitchell, who is serving a minimum of 20 years in prison for the murder, insisted he was innocent of murder and said he thinks of his former girlfriend every day, adding: "I miss her all the time."

In a letter written to a campaigner working on his legal fight, Mitchell, 23, also spoke of the moment he found Jodi's body– a fact that was used against him by the prosecution. He wrote: "When I found her, in my head I knew it was Jodi and that she was dead, but I couldn't bring myself to say it out loud.

"I was completely in shock. I didn't know what to do. It was as if I had gone numb. I couldn't get my head around what had happened, what I had seen. I still get flashbacks of that sight."

He also talked about his relationship with Jodi. "I've never met anyone who I've had the same feelings for, or connection with, as with Jodi. When I was with her, nothing else mattered."

Mitchell recently took a lie-detector test requested by his family and legal team ahead of an application to the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission. In the letter written to the miscarriage of justice campaigner Sandra Lean, Mitchell said the polygraph tests results proved he was not a "liar".

The letter also addresses claims that Mitchell appeared cold and emotionless after the discovery of Jodi's body. He said a GP had prescribed tablets for anxiety and depression that are not recommended for children.

He wrote in the letter: "For nearly nine years now, people have been calling me a liar. The lie-detector test proves all of them wrong.

"The truth is Jodi's killer is still out there, free. That is what people should be angry about, that is what people should fear."

The letter was written to Ms Lean, who has been helping Mitchell's defence team, as part of the regular correspondence she has with him. Ms Lean said the letter was the first time Mitchell had laid out his side of the case in this detail and she asked him if she could make it public.

She told The Herald: "He has always wanted to tell it the way he felt it. In part he just wanted to have it heard because over the years, in my discussions and meeting with him, the talk has always been about the case and where we can move forward and points of law."

Ms Lean said she believed Mitchell, who has served seven years of his sentence, came across in the letter as calm and reasonable. "He's very focused on what we need to do to take his case forward," she said.

"He understands that ranting and getting angry is not going to take him anywhere. For such a young man, he's very mature. He knows that the only thing that's going to get this moved forward is sticking with the facts of the case."

Ms Lean added: "We've got the court of public opinion – now we need to try to get people to look at this again.

"As Luke himself says in the letter, if the conviction is not safe, then the person who did that is still running about.

"Our hope is that the letter will reach people. Even if it just makes them question and get more of the facts."

Ms Lean said she felt she and Mitchell's other supporters now had a strong dossier to place before the review commission. "There are several areas of both the investigation and the trial itself that we will be raising."

Mitchell has always protested his innocence, but his original appeal against the conviction was rejected in 2008. In November last year, a fresh appeal by Mitchell to the Supreme Court was also rejected.