‘Monster’ who murdered Paige in ‘frenzied’ knife attack is jailed for life

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The man who murdered 15-year-old Paige Doherty in a “frenzied” knife attack has been jailed for a minimum of 27 years.

John Leathem, 32, was given a mandatory life sentence after he admitted killing the schoolgirl at his deli in Clydebank.

Paige vanished on March 19 after leaving a friend’s house to travel to her hairdressing job in Kirkintilloch.

She had gone into Leathem’s delicatessen to buy a sandwich.

Her body was found two days later in a wooded area near Great Western Road. She had more than 140 injuries.

Leathem claimed he panicked after Paige threatened to report him for sexual assault when he did not give her a job.

He was sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow today.

Judge Lady Rae set the minimum time he has to spend in jail before becoming eligible to apply for parole.

The judge said: “You claim she threatened to reveal you had touched her inappropriately if you didn’t give her that job. No evidence has been placed before me to support this.

“Even if true, your reaction was in no way mitigating of this appalling, wicked crime.”

Lady Rae described Paige’s death as a “savage and frenzied attack” and told Leathem: “What you did was truly reprehensible.”

She added: “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.

“Your mental state has been investigated, and there is no suggestion as far as I can determine, of any psychiatric or psychological explanation for what you did.”

The judge told Leathem that the jail-term would have been 30 years, but for his guilty plea.

During a previous appearance last month, Leathem admitted murdering Paige.

There were then angry scenes in the packed courtroom as he was led handcuffed to the cells.

Paige’s mother Pamela Munro and step-father Andrew were among a large crowd of family and friends who turned up to see Leathem jailed.

Speaking outside court, Paige’s mum 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 say there is one less evil man in this world, which then makes the world that bit more safer for our kids to grow up in.”

Ms Munro said that her family now had to “take each day at a time”.

“There is a huge piece missing in our family that can never be replaced,” she said.

“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 any more but she will live on through her brothers and sister and all the memories that we share.”

Ms Munro thanked police, support workers and the public for their help and said it was now time for her family to be left alone following a “very high profile” and “exhausting” case.