Man admits murder of teenager Bobbi-Anne McLeod who was found dead in woods

A 24-year-old musician has pleaded guilty to the murder of teenager Bobbie-Anne McLeod.

Cody Ackland admitted to killing the 18-year-old student during a plea and trial preparation hearing at Plymouth Crown Court on Tuesday (March 5). He spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth of him and admitted to murdering the teenager between November 19 and 23.

Prosecutor Richard Posner asked for the sentencing hearing to be adjourned due to outstanding pathology reports to be served. Family members of the teenager sat in the courtroom, including her mother, father and brother while friends watched proceedings on a video link from an adjacent court.

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Judge Robert Linford adjourned sentencing until May 19 and remanded the defendant, of Radcliffe Close, Southway, Plymouth into custody. The judge told him: “You have pleaded guilty to murder for which the sentence is fixed by law.

“I shall sentence you on May 19. The sentence will be a sentence of imprisonment for life. The only issue will be the minimum term which I must impose pursuant to Schedule 21 of the Sentencing Act 2020.

“You will be remanded into custody until that date and you may go down.” The judge also thanked members of the public for the “commendable way you have once again behaved during proceedings”.

Bobbie-Anne McLead was last seen waiting at a bus stop in Plymouth on the evening of Saturday, November 20 last year where she had planned to travel to meet friends. Three days later, her body was found in a wooded area near the beach at Bovisand-around seven miles from where she lived.

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Cody Ackland has pleaded guilty to the murder of 18-year-old student Bobbi-Anne McLeod.

Police noted there was “no known link” between Miss McLeod and Ackland. No cause of death for the teenager was provided during an opening inquiry held last year. Following Miss McLeod’s disappearance, a friend told the PA news agency that she believed the victim “did n’t have a clue” who her attacker or attackers were her.

She added that the teenager’s Airpod headphones and tobacco had been found at the bus stop where she was last seen. The friend said: “The fact Bobbi’s Airpods and baccy were at the bus stop, that shows she would have struggled.”

A candlelit vigil washed at the final location Bobbie-Anne was seen alive. It was attended by her mother de ella Donna McLeod who was visibly distressed during the vigil, despite this, she was able to extend her de ella thanks to the crowd for all the love and support her family de ella has received.

“Thank you for doing everything to try and find her and bring our baby home,” she said. A 16-year-old boy who attended the vigil had known Bobbie-Anne while she was still at the same school.

“I hadn’t seen her for ages and I feel really bad about that, but we used to hang around together at school,” he said. She was just sweet, just nice, I think that’s why it’s hit me so hard, not that anyone deserves this, but it’s just awful that it happened to her.”

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Court artist sketch of musician Cody Ackland in the dock at Plymouth Crown Court

Ackland was the lead guitarist in Plymouth-based indy band Rakuda, who released their first EP in August last year. The other members of Rakuda announced they would disband “with immediate effect” in November. However, a few weeks later they said they would be taking a “short hiatus from the music scene” with hopes of reforming in the spring of 2022.

Alison Hernandez, police and crime commissioner for Devon and Cornwall, said: “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.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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