Luke Mitchell was convicted on wholly circumstantial evidence.

Circumstantial evidence is best explained by saying what it is not - it is not direct evidence from a witness who saw or heard something. Circumstantial evidence is a fact that can be used to infer another fact.

Indirect evidence that implies something occurred but doesn't directly prove it; proof of one or more facts from which one can find another fact; proof of a chain of facts and circumstances indicating that the person is either guilty or not guilty.

Location of the body

A large plank of evidence used to convict Mitchell, was that he supposedly knew the location of the body and led family members to the area where Jones was murdered.

The teenager was the fourth member of the search party. It comprised of Mitchell, Jodi’s grandmother, sister, and her sister’s fiancé.

Whilst searching the area with the rest of the party, Luke Mitchell claimed that his German shepherd – partially trained to track by a professional handler - alerted him by jumping up against the wall, which Jones was found behind.

This claim was initially corroborated by the family members of the search party. Files show that these statements were changed approximately one month after the event. The original statements, which supported Mitchell’s claim, were put to the witnesses by his defence QC Donald Findlay but they said they were unable to remember or it was not what they meant.

Eyewitness statement

Further evidence used to support Mitchell’s guilt, was the eyewitness statement of Andrina Bryson. She claimed to have seen Luke Mitchell near the time of murder, with a female who may have been Jodi.

Bryson gave a description, adding that the person with Mitchell had “black, shoulder length hair, which seemed to be contained like a ponytail, wearing a navy blue jumper with a hood and a pair of lighter trousers, which she took to be a pair of jeans.” The witness did not see her face.

On the night of the murder, Jodi Jones had been wearing black, baggy trousers and a large black Deftones hooded jumper, with an orange logo on it.

During the trial, Bryson refused to identify Luke Mitchell in court, but her description helped to secure his conviction when it was used alongside other witness statements.

Corrine Mitchell

The mother of Luke Mitchell, was claimed to have helped her son dispose of evidence which would have linked him to the scene of the crime. A log burner was removed from the family home, to undergo forensic testing. No trace of evidence was found, and Corrine Mitchell continues to fight her son’s murder conviction.

“You can’t accuse me of helping him get rid of all the stuff in my ¬ ¬- as the papers put it - ‘incinerator’ in the back garden. They took the whole thing away, and they didn’t find anything!” she says.

“I did an experiment. We built an exact replica of my log burner that I built in my garden and got an exact replica of Luke’s parka that I was supposed to have burnt - which he never owned anyway at the time. I bought him it after and the cops have the receipt for that.

“It (the parka) wouldn’t burn and there was tons of black smoke. There were zips, buckles - you name it.”

Satanic links

A large part of the media storm surrounding the events, was the focus on Mitchell’s appearance and behaviour. He was claimed to be a “satanic goth”.

“Even if he was gothic, it doesn’t make him a murderer”, Corrine says frankly, before continuing. "Luke’s case was the longest of a single accused in Scottish history. It could have been the shortest, if Donald Findlay (the QC representing Mitchell) had gone in and said, ‘your honour, members of the jury, we have blood, semen, sperm, saliva, hair and they are not my client’s. I rest my case’.

Trial over.

“No amount of compensation can give me back the years. It’s one thing for an adult to go to prison, but as a child you’re missing out on those key developmental years. There’s nothing I can get back from those missed years.”