A musician has pleaded guilty to the murder of 18-year-old student Bobbi-Anne McLeod. Cody Ackland, 24, pleaded during a plea preparation and trial hearing at Plymouth Crown Court on Tuesday.
Ackland spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth and admit to the murder of the teenager on a date between November 19 and 23. Prosecutor Richard Posner requested an adjournment of the sentencing hearing due to pending pathology reports to be served.
Close members of the teenager’s family, including her mother, father and brother, sat in the courtroom while friends watched the proceedings on a video link from an adjacent court. Ackland appeared on the dock wearing jeans and a gray sweater.
Mr Posner said he was awaiting further evidence from a neuropathologist’s report that he hoped to be in court before the end of the month. He said that when he received it, he would be ready to draw up a full sentencing note detailing the facts of the murder.
Ray Tully QC, for Ackland, said he would provide the court with a psychiatric report on the defendant ahead of the sentencing hearing. Judge Robert Linford entered his case for sentencing on the morning of May 19 and warned him that he would receive a statutory life sentence, adding: ‘The only problem will be the minimum sentence.’
Bobbi-Anne McLeod’s mother, father and brother sat in the public gallery while the victim’s friends and extended family sat in a separate courtroom via video link. The victim’s mother, Donna McLeod, was in tears throughout the brief hearing.
Before Ackland was arraigned in court, Judge Linford said: ‘When this matter was last brought before the court, I asked for an atmosphere of restrained silence during the proceedings, I got it. and I was very grateful for how everyone conducted themselves in difficult circumstances. . I want to reiterate that these are very difficult and tense hearings, but again I expect the case to proceed in silence with no reaction from anyone to anything said or done during the hearing. .
Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall, said: ‘I can’t even begin to imagine the pain Bobbi-Anne McLeod’s family and friends have been through over the past few months. While there’s no justice that can bring Bobbi-Anne back, I’m glad this case is over quickly and I really hope the family gets the answers they need to put an end to this terrible incident. .
“I would like to thank the police for their hard work in bringing Cody Ackland to justice. I would also like to thank the Plymouth community who have shown incredible courage, empathy and support during this dark time for the city.