Bobbi-Anne McLeod: Rock musician who murdered Plymouth teenager jailed for life

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Tormented Lee McLeod vented his fury after rock musician Cody Ackland was sentenced to a minimum of 30 years behind bars. Ackland, 24, who had a morbid obsession with serial killer Ted Bundy, attacked Bobbi-Anne as she waited at a bus stop.

He kidnapped the petite 18-year-old, battered her with a claw hammer, strangled her and stood on her throat during a “prolonged, savage and merciless attack”.

Bobbi-Anne suffered “catastrophic” injuries to her head and face before Ackland stripped and dumped her body near a beach about seven miles from her home.

After carrying out the horrendous crime, guitarist Ackland cheerfully rehearsed with his band, went for a pizza, enjoyed a pub lock-in with friends and appeared happier than usual.

Then three days after the murder, he walked into a police station and confessed.

Bobbi-Anne’s mum Donna wept yesterday as details of the savage and motiveless attack on her daughter were revealed for the first time at Plymouth Crown Court.

Ackland was in his Ford Fiesta when he saw Bobbi-Anne waiting at a bus stop in the Leigham area of the city on November 20 last year.

The court heard he had murder on his mind.

Richard Posner, prosecuting, said: “The defendant had a secret – a morbid interest in a significant number of serial killers in England, Australia, the US and Russia.

Leading up to Bobbi-Anne’s death, he searched the internet for information on their crimes and the aftermath of such crimes.”

Ackland also carried out searches of remote locations on Dartmoor and of DIY stores for hammers and crowbars.

And police found 3,216 images on his phone with “disturbing and dark subject matter”.

The killer had no connection to college student Bobbi-Anne, who was less than 5ft tall and looked much younger than her 18 years.

But he said he had picked on her because she reminded him of an ex-girlfriend.

In his chilling police confession, he also revealed how he approached her from behind at the bus-stop and hit her “with the blunt end of the hammer”.

He then hit her again, put her in his car and tried to strangle her.

Ackland claimed Bobbi-Anne told him: “I’m scared.” He told police he replied: “So am I.”

He then drove to a remote wooded spot on Dartmoor where he subjected Bobbi-Anne to appalling suffering. At the end of her awful ordeal, Ackland stood on her throat to make sure she was dead.

The court heard that after his arrest, Ackland made light of the fact his victim was still able to “make a noise” after he had battered her 12 times with a hammer.

Describing the moment in a police interview, he said: ‘It’s not funny but she started to make a noise and I thought, ‘f****** hell, wow!’ I mean hats off to her.”

Sentencing Ackland, Judge Robert Linford said the monster had made four attempts to kill Bobbi-Anne. Listing the atrocities, he said: “The first was at the bus stop and you beat her over the head with a hammer.

“The second was when you tried to strangle her in the car.

“The third was when you struck her repeatedly with a hammer on the moor in truly terrible circumstances, with her knowing what you were intent upon doing to her. The fourth was when you stood on her throat.”

The judge added: “This was a prolonged, savage and merciless attack. It caused outrage and fear in this part of the country and rightly so. Utterly motiveless.

“Bobbi-Anne was just 18. She had the whole of her life in front of her until it was brutally and savagely snuffed out by you.

“She was a much-loved daughter and sister and a well-liked friend to many. She was the light of the family home, loving, loyal and the best daughter her parents could have.

“Her family are struggling to comprehend a future without her.”

In an emotional statement read outside court, Bobbi-Anne’s relatives thanked the police and those who have offered them support.

The family also paid tribute to the beloved teenager.

They said: “Bobbi was a beautiful girl who lit up our lives and the lives of everyone she ever met.

“She was kind, funny, and loyal. She was the best daughter, the best sister, and the best friend to so many people. Everybody who knew Bobbi loved her.

“We have been robbed of our beautiful girl in the worst possible way and our lives will never be the same without her.

“We will never see her beautiful face or hear her laugh, see her get married or have the children she so wanted. Her not being here is still unimaginable.”

Detective Inspector Stephanie Blundell, senior investigating officer from Devon and Cornwall’s major crime investigation team, described Ackland’s crimes as “senseless and evil”. She added: “I hope the community can now focus on healing and recovery, knowing Ackland will be in prison for a substantial length of time.”

After Ackland’s arrest his band, Rakuda, split up.

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