Is Luke Mitchell innocent?
A new Channel 5 documentary will investigate the theory that Luke Mitchell could be innocent in the murder of Jodie Jones back in 2003. In 2005, Luke Mitchell was convicted of Jodie’s killing however for years wide speculation has cast doubt on his conviction and the fairness of his trial. Now in the new Channel 5 documentary, two former detectives set out to prove he was not Jodie’s killer.
Jodie Jones was 14 at the time of her murder. She had gone missing after leaving her home to meet her boyfriend Luke Mitchell. She was later found dead down a small lane known as Roan’s Dyke path in her hometown of Midlothian. He murder was violent, she had been restrained, her body slashed multiple times and her throat cut. Mitchell quickly became the prime suspect in the murder. He is said to have been the first to find her body beyond an opening in a wall while searching for Jodie alongside other members of her family. The media then began a campaign against Mitchell highlighting his interest in music by Marilyn Manson and began heavily suggesting Mitchell was interested in aspects of satanism and that he carried a knife.
The detectives in the documentary claim other possible suspects were overlooked during the initial investigation and that the police had Mitchell’s cards marked from the very beginning. Fresh claims from the detectives also highlight concerns with the suspected time of Jodie’s death. They say the crime scene was not properly protected so exposed to the elements overnight. The pathologist did not arrive at the crime scene until the following morning so the time of death could be deemed unreliable. Due to the injuries on Jodie’s body they also state the murderer would have been covered in blood yet no traces were ever found on Mitchell or in his home. The detectives also say they have their own very strong suspect but they can’t be named for legal reasons.
Criminologist Dr Sandra Lean has also spoken openly about the Mitchell case. She has appeared on the James English podcast and discussed in depth aspects of the case that suggest the conviction could be unsafe. In the interview she makes several claims including that the police potentially leaked information to the press about the Mitchell family that fuelled their dislike for Luke. She questions the reliability of a witness who made a statement claiming she saw Luke and Jodi at the entrance to the path where she was murdered. Lean goes on to claim the witness’s recall had been influenced by bias. She makes a connection between the witness and Jodie’s family stating the witness’s brother in law was a friend of the family.
Lean also highlights that there were also five different identifiable DNA profiles found on or nearby the body but none that matched Mitchell’s. This information is backed up by the two detectives in the Channel 5 documentary. Lean claims one of the profiles was the boyfriend of Jodie’s sister. Further links to the Jones family are outlined by Lean during the interview. Two boys on a moped, one of whom Lean claims was a cousin of Jodie’s, were seen near the path around the time she is thought to have been murdered. She goes on to state that the moped was seen abandoned at the gap in the wall leading to where the body was found.
Luke Mitchell’s conviction was further cast in doubt when in 2012 he passed a polygraph lie detector test with expert Terry Mullins. Although not admissible in court in the U.K. the results of the test suggest Luke Mitchell was telling the truth when asked if he had killed Jodie Jones adding more weight to Mitchell’s innocence claims. Terry Mullins was also interviewed in detail about the test on the James English Podcast.
Luke Mitchell has always maintained his innocence and continues to do so to this day. In an interview from prison for the Channel 5 documentary Mitchell claims that police at the time tried to bully him into confessing to the murder of Jodie. He claims they screamed “confess you little bastard” during their interviews. In the Channel 5 interview he claims he will never confess to something he didn’t do.
The Channel 5 documentary named “Murder In A Small Town” will air at 9pm on Wednesday the 24th February over two nights. Regardless of your thoughts on the case, this will definitely be worth a watch.
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Please note that despite the angle of the article, this does not necessarily reflect the views of the author. Writing was reflective of the content in the up and coming Channel 5 documentary. I hope to write a more detailed article regarding the case in the near future.