Sandwich shop owner handed life sentence for stabbing Scottish teenager to death

Paige Doherty (15) was stabbed more than 60 times in 'savage and frenzied' attack

Sandwich shop owner handed life sentence for stabbing Scottish teenager to death

Paige Doherty | Image: Police Scotland

A man has been jailed for life for the murder of 15-year-old Paige Doherty, who was killed in a "frenzied" knife attack.

Paige was stabbed to death by John Leathem in the back of his sandwich shop in Clydebank, Scotland, in March.

The married father-of-two, who pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing, will serve at least 27 years in prison.

The court heard the 32-year-old stabbed Paige more than 60 times when she stopped at his Delicious Deli, before dumping her body in bushes two days later.

Judge Lady Rae, sentencing Leathem at the High Court in Glasgow, said it was a "savage and frenzied" attack, and described the killing as "truly reprehensible."

"There is no evidence or motive to explain the ferocity of this attack," she said.

"It is impossible to comprehend how an apparently happily married man, with a young child, who is running a successful business, is capable of such an horrific level of violence."

Paige's family and friends were in court to hear the sentencing, and there were shouts of "scum" and "monster" as Leathem was led away.

A post-mortem examination revealed that as well as 61 stab wounds, mainly to her head and neck, Paige received another 85 cuts, probably as a result of trying to fight off her attacker.

CCTV showed Leathem carrying her body out of the shop in a bin bag and putting it in the boot of his car.

He was also filmed leaving his shop to buy anti-bacterial wipes, bleach and bin bags.

Pamela Munro, Paige Doherty's mother, speaks outside the High Court in Glasgow | Photo: PA Images

'Unthinkable, brutal crime'

Leathem is thought to have hidden Paige's body in a shed at his home nearby over the weekend before driving to a wooded area off the A82 and dumping her body.

It was discovered by a member of the public.

Leathem's lawyer, Ian Duguid QC, described the killing as a "spontaneous, gross overreaction".

He said reports showed his client had no anger management issues and was a "quite unexceptional individual".

He said Leathem claimed to have taken Paige into the back office to discuss a job application.

After Leathem said he would have to speak to her mother because of her age and because there were other candidates for the position as a shop assistant, Paige answered: "I thought I was getting a job."

Leathem then claimed she said: "I'll just say you touched me."

The judge said there was no evidence to support this.

"Even if true, your reaction was in no way mitigating of this appalling, wicked crime," she said.

Paige's family have said they will never get over what happened to her.

Her mother Pamela Munro said she hears her daughter's screams in her nightmares

Speaking outside court, she said: "Today we see a monster put behind bars for the unthinkable, brutal crime he committed against our daughter Paige.

"There is no sentence high enough to justify what has happened but we can now see there is one less evil man in this world, which then makes the world that bit more safe for our kids to grow up in.

"I am thankful for the 15 years we had with Paige, from the kind and generous wee soul she was, to the mature young woman she grew into.

"She may not be with us anymore but she will live on through her brothers and sister and all the memories that we share."