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Bobbi-Anne McLeod: Musician Cody Ackland pleads guilty to murder of 18-year-old student

A musician has pleaded guilty to the murder of 18-year-old student Bobbi-Anne McLeod, who disappeared whereas ready for a bus in Plymouth.

Cody Ackland, 24, entered the plea throughout a plea and trial preparation listening to at Plymouth Crown Court on Tuesday.

He appeared within the dock wearing denims and a gray sweater, and spoke solely to affirm his identify, date of delivery and enter his guilty plea to murdering {the teenager} on a date between 19 and 23 November 2021.

Richard Posner, prosecuting, requested for sentencing to be delayed as he was awaiting additional proof from a neuropathologist’s report that he hoped to find a way to serve on the court docket earlier than the top of the month.

He mentioned when he had acquired it, he can be prepared to set out a full sentencing observe detailing the information of the murder.

Ray Tully QC, for Ackland, mentioned he can be offering the court docket with a psychiatric report concerning the defendant forward of the sentencing listening to.

Judge Robert Linford warned Ackland he would obtain a statutory life sentence as he listed the case for sentence on 19 May, including: “The only issue will be the minimum term.”

Ms McLeod’s mom, father and brother had been seated within the public gallery whereas the sufferer’s mates and prolonged household had been watched proceedings in a separate court docket room by way of video hyperlink.

Cody Ackland, 24, has been instructed he’ll obtain a life sentence after pleading guilty to the murder of 18-year-old Bobbi-Anne McLeod who disappeared whereas ready for a bus in Plymouth in November 2021

(Devon and Cornwall Police)

The sufferer’s mom Donna McLeod was in tears all through the transient listening to.

The choose remanded Ackland, of Radcliffe Close, Southway, Plymouth, into custody to reappear at court docket for sentencing subsequent month.

He additionally thanked the general public for the “commendable way you have once again behaved during proceedings”.

Ms McLeod was final seen ready at a bus cease on Bampton Road close to her residence within the Plymouth suburb of Leigham on the night of Saturday 20 November 2021, as she headed into city to meet mates.

Her physique was found three days later close to a seaside at Bovisand, South Hams, about seven miles away.

Police mentioned there was “no known link” between Ms McLeod and Ackland.

Bobbi-Anne McLeod, 18, was final seen ready at a bus cease close to her residence in Leigham, Plymouth, on her method to meet mates

(Devon & Cornwall Police)

No trigger of demise for {the teenager} was given throughout an inquest opening held final year.

Ms McLeod’s distraught mom thanked the group of Leigham for his or her assist as tons of attended a candelit vigil on the spot the place the student was final seen alive in November.

“Thank you for doing everything to try and find her and bring our baby home,” she mentioned.

Her older brother Lee, who begged folks to assist him seek for his sister, whom he was satisfied had been kidnapped, paid an emotional tribute after police discovered a physique three days after her disappearance.

Sharing a photograph of the siblings of their main faculty uniform on Facebook, he wrote: “Until we meet again sis. I love you.

“You didn’t deserve this such a beautiful and talented girl and to have you as my little sister the adventure and journey we had been on will always be treasured. Now go rest easy.”

Ackland was lead guitarist in Plymouth-based indy band Rakuda, which launched its first EP in August final year.

The different members of Rakuda introduced in November they might disband “with immediate effect” however weeks later mentioned they might be taking a “short hiatus from the music scene” with a view to reforming within the spring of 2022.

Speaking after the court docket listening to on Tuesday, Alison Hernandez, police and crime commissioner for Devon and Cornwall, mentioned: “I can’t even start to imagine the pain that Bobbi-Anne McLeod’s family and friends have been through over these past few months.

“While there is no justice that can bring Bobbi-Anne back, I’m pleased this case will be concluded swiftly and I truly hope the family will get the answers they need to provide some closure on this terrible incident.

“I’d like to thank the police for their hard work in bringing Cody Ackland to justice.

“I’d also like to thank the community of Plymouth who have shown courage, empathy and incredible support during this dark time for the city.”

Nikki Leaper, assistant chief constable of Devon and Cornwall Police, added: “Our thoughts remain with the McLeod family and those close to Bobbi-Anne who have had a daughter, sister and friend so cruelly taken from them.”

Additional reporting by Press Association

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