Claire Tiltman murder: Colin Ash-Smith's appeal bid rejected

Colin Ash-Smith Image copyright Mike Gunnill
Image caption Colin Ash-Smith was jailed for life last December

A man jailed for life for the 1993 murder of a Kent schoolgirl has failed in a bid to challenge his conviction.

Colin Ash-Smith was jailed for life last December for repeatedly stabbing 16-year-old Claire Tiltman in an alleyway in Greenhithe.

The 47-year-old was already serving three life sentences for previous attacks on two women.

On Friday, judges at the Court of Appeal dismissed an application by Ash-Smith for permission to appeal.

Lord Justice Davis, sitting with two other leading judges in London, announced that his case was "unarguable".

They rejected submissions made on Ash-Smith's behalf that the trial judge wrongly allowed "gravely prejudicial" material to go before the jury.

At his sentencing last year, Ash-Smith was told he would spend a minimum of 21 years behind bars for the killing.

The Dartford Grammar School for Girls pupil, known as "Tilt" to her friends, had just finished her mock GCSEs and wanted to go on to be a firefighter.

Claire's parents, Linda and Cliff, died before her killer could be brought to justice, but they had been convinced the former milkman had murdered their daughter.

Image copyright Kent Police/PA
Image caption Claire Tiltman had dreams of becoming a firefighter

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