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Paige Doherty killer has prison term cut on appeal

John Leathem murdered the 15-year-old at his sandwich shop in Clydebank.

The deli owner who murdered schoolgirl Paige Doherty has had his jail term cut by four years to 23 years.

John Leathem killed the 15-year-old in a "savage and frenzied" knife attack at his sandwich shop in Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire, last March before he moved her body in bin bags to the boot of his car.

He then disposed of the popular teenager's body, which was left with more than 146 injuries as a result of Leathem's attack, in a wooded area next to busy Great Western Road.

The 32-year-old was jailed for life at the High Court in Glasgow and originally ordered to serve a minimum of 27 years by Lady Rae.

The judge described Paige as a "defenceless child" who was killed in a "savage and frenzied attack" and screams of "beast", "monster" and "rot in hell" were heard from Paige's family as the killer was led away.

She added Leathem had inflicted a "horrific level of violence" on the schoolgirl.

On Friday, Lord Turnbull's judgment on the appeal was issued, reducing the minimum period of the life term by four years.

https://stv.tv/news/west-central/1366042-deli-owner-admits-murdering-schoolgirl-paige-doherty/ | default

The killer's QC Ian Duguid argued the sentence was "excessive and inconsistent comparatively with contemporary sentencing practice".

Mr Duguid accepted there were important aggravating features including the "vicious and sustained nature" of the attack, the fact the victim was a child and that his actions in trying to cover up his crime.

He argued Leathem was a first offender, was married with a young daughter and ran a moderately successful business within the local community where he lived.

His actions were out of character, the murder was committed spontaneously and he had expressed genuine remorse, the lawyer added.

Leathem's legal team referred to a number of notorious killers including Tanveer Ahmed, the murderer of Shawlands shopkeeper Asad Shah; Alexander Pacteau, who murdered nurse Karen Buckley, and the two men convicted of murdering three members of the Sharkey family in Helensburgh.

The lawyer argued Leathem's sentence was inconsistent with the sentencing practice used in similar cases.

https://stv.tv/news/west-central/1369842-mother-of-murdered-paige-doherty-wants-to-face-killer-in-prison/ | default

He said the other murder cases he referred to "demonstrated that they all contained aggravating features of a more numerous and significant nature" than that of Leathem's case.

The appeal court judgment by Lord Turnbull on Friday said: "That analysis led to the conclusion that a punishment part in the order of 30 years is properly restricted to cases which are significantly more serious than the present in relation to cause of death and which contain elements such as dismemberment after death."

In an interview with STV News last year, Paige's mother Pamela Munro revealed the horrific extent of injuries inflicted on her daughter by Leathem and said she wanted to face him in prison.

She told STV News she wants to face her daughter's killer in prison.

Leathem stabbed the defenceless teenager at least 61 times and inflicted a total of more than 140 injuries when she stopped for a breakfast roll at the Delicious Deli in Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire, on March 19.

Despite claims he was in "a panic", he cleaned up his crime and dumped Paige's body in bushes near Great Western Road two days later.

A statement from Paige's family on Facebook says: "The verdict is out. The man who brutally murdered a 15-year-old defenceless child has been given more time off his sentence.

"He will only have to serve 23 years. There is no words to describe how we feel. It's heartbreaking and serves no justice to Paige and her family.

"She had her whole life ahead of her and it's been ripped apart. In 23 years her killer will walk the streets."

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