27 Years For Paige Doherty's Killer

12 October 2016, 11:24

Candles lit in Paige's memory

A sandwich shop owner has been sentenced to 27 years in jail for the "frenzied'' knife murder of a teenage customer.

John Leathem, 32, stabbed Paige Doherty more than 60 times when she stopped at his shop in Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire, for a roll on the way to her hairdressing job on March 19th.

Today, having already pleaded guilty to her murder at the High Court in Glasgow last month, he was sentenced to 27 years behind bars.

At the previous hearing, Judge Lady Rae told him: "This was a savage, frenzied attack on a child.''

First-offender Leathem attacked the 15-year-old in the back office of the Delicious Deli in Fleming Avenue shortly after 8.20am, apparently after a short exchange about a job.

A post-mortem examination found Paige suffered 61 stab wounds, mainly to her head and neck, and 85 cuts thought to have been sustained as she tried to fight off her attacker.

The married father-of-two was captured on CCTV carrying her body out of the shop in a bin bag and putting it in the boot of his car.

Footage also showed him leaving his shop to buy anti-bacterial wipes, bin bags and bleach.

He is understood to have stored Paige's body in a shed at his nearby home over the weekend before driving to a wooded area off the A82 and dumping her body on the morning of Monday March 21st, where she was discovered by a member of the public.

Leathem's lawyer Ian Duguid QC said her murder was a "spontaneous, gross overreaction''.

He said Leathem claimed to have taken Paige into the back office to discuss a job application, and told her he would have to speak to her mother due to her age and that there were other candidates for the position as a shop assistant.

Leathem claims Paige responded: "I thought I was getting a job,'' before adding: "I'll just say you touched me,'' the court heard.

Paige was described by her grandmother as a "kind and selfless person and all-round good girl''.

Her family said they will never get over what happened to the teenager.

The court heard how her mother Pamela Munro hears her daughter's screams in her nightmares and stepfather Andrew said they could not get out of their heads "the terror that she must have experienced''.

More than 150 people around Scotland and as far afield as Australia, using the hashtag #justiceforpaige, lit candles for the teenager last night and shared their photos on the Pout For Paige Facebook group.