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Man obsessed with serial killers jailed for life for murder of Bobbi-Anne McLeod

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musician obsessed with US serial killer Ted Bundy has been jailed for life for brutally murdering teenager Bobbi-Anne McLeod.

Cody Ackland, 24, will serve a minimum of 31 years in prison after he was sentenced on Thursday at Plymouth Crown Court.

The court heard he was acting out his warped fantasies when he brutally murdered Ms McLeod, 18, who he snatched at a bus stop then bludgeoned her to death in a remote car park on Dartmoor.

Three days after the killing Ackland handed himself in, and investigators would find more than three thousand images of the bodies of murder victims, murder weapons and bloodstained clothing.

Ackland, who was a guitarist with local indie band Rakuda, was leading a double life and had a secret morbid fascination with serial killers, particularly US murderer Ted Bundy.

The car valet was unknown to the police when he bludgeoned Ms McLeod with a claw hammer.

Plymouth Crown Court heard Ackland attacked her as she waited for a bus in Plymouth in November last year.

He then loaded the semi-conscious teenager into the footwell of his Ford Fiesta and drove her 20 miles to the Bellever Forest car park on Dartmoor where he killed her with a hammer.

Ackland burnt her handbag and loaded her blooded body into his boot and drove 30 miles back towards Plymouth to Bovisand where he stripped her naked and left her in undergrowth.

He later threw away her clothes in an allotment before spending the next 48 hours socialising with friends.

Three days later, Ackland turned himself in and confessed, telling detectives where he had dumped her body.

At a previous hearing, Ackland, of Plymouth, pleaded guilty to murder.

Judge Robert Linford told Ackland: “On November 20 last year you subjected Bobbi-Anne McLeod to a prolonged, savage and merciless attack.”

He continued: “She was a young, popular and much-loved person, you caused outrage and fear in this part of the country and with good reason, it was utterly motiveless.”

Judge Lindford told Ackland that he would remain indefinitely a “highly dangerous person”, adding: “There is a strong possibility you may never be released from prison.”

Richard Posner, prosecuting, told the court Ackland was leading “a double life” and harboured a fascination with serial killers in the UK, Australia, US and Russia.

Mr Posner said Ackland had conducted extensive searches about “their crimes, the aftermath of such crimes, and the bodies left behind in days leading up to Bobbi-Anne (McLeod’s) death”.

He said he had also been searching the web pages of DIY stores for “hammers, crowbars and cutting tools”.

“Cody Ackland led a double life. When he left home on November 20 and drove through Leigham in Plymouth towards the bus stop where Bobbi-Anne was,” the prosecutor said.

“He held such an unhealthy fascination and desire to imitate serial killers. His fascination was to become an unimaneagable wicked reality for Bobbi-Anne.”

At 5.45pm on November 20, Miss McLeod left her home in Leigham to meet her boyfriend and walked to the nearby bus stop on Bampton Road, where she was last seen alive at 6.15pm.

By 7.15pm, the teenager’s family were starting to worry and a member of the public found her abandoned mobile phone and Apple AirPod case in the bus stop.

The teenager’s boyfriend contacted her family at 9pm asking where she was, and they immediately went out looking for her and appealing on social media.

Devon and Cornwall Police launched a missing person inquiry.

On Tuesday at lunchtime, he left work to walk to a police station to confess to murdering Miss McLeod.

He asked for a map and directed detectives to Bovisand – where police found her body hours later.

Forensic evidence and phone data corroborated Ackland’s story, the court heard.

Crime scene investigators located the clothes at the allotments and his blood-stained trainers were found in his wardrobe. Miss McLeod’s blood was found in and around his car.

The court heard that police found a trove of over 3,000 dark and disturbing images on Ackland’s phone.

Many of them were of the mutilated bodies of murder victims, as well as murder weapons, soiled and bloodied clothing, and the sites where victims were found.

Ackland’s attack on Miss McLeod bore a striking resemblance to 1970s American serial killer Bundy’s modus operandi, in that he approached her from behind and struck her with the hammer before kidnapping her.

Rakuda, who released their first EP in August last year, announced in November they would disband “with immediate effect”, but weeks later said they would be taking a “short hiatus from the music scene” with a view to reforming in the spring of 2022.

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