A woman who was one of three people convicted of murdering a teenage girl more than 27 years ago has been jailed for at least 17 years.

Donna Marie Brand, 44, was found guilty in December at the High Court in Glasgow alongside Robert O’Brien, 45 and Andrew Kelly, of killing O’Brien’s 14-year-old girlfriend Caroline Glachan in August 1996.

During 10 days of evidence, the jury heard that the trio had arranged to meet Caroline at a bridge near the towpath beside the River Leven, between Renton and Bonhill in West Dunbartonshire, on August 25 that year.

Caroline was repeatedly punched and kicked, and had bricks or similar items thrown at her, causing blunt force trauma to her head and body.

She was pushed or fell into undergrowth and her body was discovered in the river at Place of Bonhill, Renton, later the same day – which was her mother’s 40th birthday.

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Brand was jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum of 17 years when she appeared at the court for sentencing on Monday.

O’Brien and Kelly were sentenced to life at the same court in January, with O’Brien ordered to serve a minimum of 22 years behind bars and Kelly handed a minimum of 18 years.

Brand could not attend court for sentencing in January because she was in hospital, and on Monday appeared for sentencing via video link.

Judge Lord Braid said Brand had been convicted of a “brutal” murder.

He said that while Brand did not take part in the assault itself, she shared in responsibility for the crime because she left Caroline face down in the river while she was still alive and was part of a plan of “murderous violence”.

The Herald: Donna Marie Brand has been jailed for at least 17 years (Image: Police Scotland)Donna Marie Brand has been jailed for at least 17 years (Image: Police Scotland) (Image: Police Scotland)

He said: “Caroline was a popular teenager. She was a lover of life. Due in part to you she has been deprived of living that life”.

When sentencing the two men in January, judge Lord Braid described the murder as “brutal, depraved and above all wicked”.

He said O’Brien was the main perpetrator and used “extreme violence” on Caroline.

The judge said while Kelly played a lesser role, he was also involved in inflicting “murderous violence” on the teenager.

During the trial, forensic pathologist Dr Marjorie Turner told the court the 14-year-old was still alive when she went into the water and the ultimate cause of death was drowning.

Caroline’s mother Margaret McKeich told jurors her daughter was “infatuated” with O’Brien but she did not approve of the relationship because he was a few years older.

Mrs McKeich said her daughter had previously disclosed that O’Brien had “lifted his hands to her”.