Supporters of killer Luke Mitchell have been banned from staging a fundraising event just a mile away from where his victim’s body
Tragic Jodi Jones, 14, was murdered by her boyfriend Mitchell, then also 14, in 2003. Her body was found dumped near her home in the Midlothian town of Dalkeith. Campaigners demanding Mitchell’s release had planned to hold a £10-a-ticket fundraiser at Dalkeith Masonic Hall.
The event next month was billed as a “birthday party” for a Mitchell campaigner followed by “fun fundraising” as part of the entertainment. The hall is about a mile from Roan’s Dyke Path, where Jodi’s body was found. But venue managers have cancelled the bash, saying they feared for the safety of those taking part.
In an email to campaigners they wrote: “We have received a number of emails and texts which give us cause for concern regarding your booking and it would appear the purpose of your booking is not what was first intimated. Taking into account the fact there is potential for conflict at the event, we are concerned about the safety of our staff and premises. We have therefore decided to cancel your booking immediately.”
In a YouTube video to supporters, refunds for the event were offered and campaigners claimed another venue was being sought. In 2005, Mitchell was convicted of murdering Jodi.
The teenager had been stripped, tied up and stabbed to death. Her throat was also slit during the horrific murder. Jodi’s family have repeatedly begged Mitchell’s supporters to stop circulating baseless conspiracy theories surrounding his conviction.
He has built up a following of supporters online who believe he is innocent – despite being found guilty and repeated appeals failing. Their campaign gained momentum in 2021 after Channel 5 broadcast a documentary called Murder in a Small Town, which appeared to contradict the official investigation by police.
Meanwhile, it has emerged that transcripts from Mitchell’s trial have been shared online by some of his supporters, who have broken away from the “official” group.
One former supporter, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “Some of the things we’ve been led to believe since the programme have been discovered to not be true. We were always told the transcripts weren’t available but some people have managed to get hold of them and we’re discovering there are facts that have been distorted or withheld. There is blatant bullying and manipulation of vulnerable people going on.
"Anyone who tries to question what the group says are bullied and blocked. Some have been threatened. Not everyone is proud of the way this campaign has been run, particularly in the targeting of the Jones family, witnesses, people involved in the trial and other public figures.
“The campaign was about highlighting facts that could prove a miscarriage of justice took place but it has turned into a frightening campaign of smearing and naming innocent people. Lots of us couldn’t stay.”
Dalkeith Masonic Hall has been contacted for comment.
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