Glasgow & West Scotland

Paige killer's forthcoming appeal is cruel, mother says

Paige Doherty Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Paige Doherty had more than 140 injuries and was stabbed 61 times

The mother of murdered schoolgirl Paige Doherty has described her killer's forthcoming appeal as "cruel".

Speaking in the Sunday Mail, Pamela Munro revealed that she had come face to face with John Leathem during the search to find the 15-year-old.

The 32-year-old shop owner stabbed the teenager 61 times and inflicted more than 140 injuries after she went into his shop in Clydebank on 19 March.

He dumped her body in bushes two days after the attack.

Leathem's appeal against his 27-year minimum sentence is due to be heard at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh on Friday.

Ms Munro has been campaigning against any reduction in Leathem's sentence since news of his appeal plans emerged and a petition opposing a cut in his jail term has been signed by about 11,000 people.

Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption John Leathem is appealing against his sentence

Ms Munro, who has three other children, said: "Even if he got out at 59, he'd still have a life, so 27 years isn't long enough. He's totally deluded. This appeal is cruel."

She added: "With the appeal being on 23 December, there is no way that our first Christmas without Paige can be a normal one - as much as we might try to make it that way for the kids."

Ms Munro also described how Leathem appeared emotionless when she went to his shop, Delicious Deli, to talk to him about putting up posters to help to find Paige.

"Looking back, he was so cold," she told the newspaper.

"There was no emotion in his voice or his face. He never showed signs of knowing anything but I'd never have guessed."

Image caption Paige's mother spoke to Leathem at his shop when she asked him to put posters up to help find her daughter

First offender Leathem was given a mandatory life sentence at the High Court in Glasgow in October and was told he must spend at least 27 years behind bars for the "savage and frenzied" murder.

He admitted the killing at an earlier court hearing.

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

Sentencing judge Lady Rae described the killing as "truly reprehensible and impossible to comprehend".

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