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Musician faces life sentence for murdering teenager

A crime scene investigator near Sheepstor Road in Plymouth, after the body of a woman was found in the hunt for missing Plymouth teenager Bobbi-Anne McLeod, who has not been seen since Saturday evening. Picture date: Wednesday November 24, 2021.
A crime scene investigator near Sheepstor Road in Plymouth, after the body of a woman was found in the hunt for missing Plymouth teenager Bobbi-Anne McLeod, who has not been seen since Saturday evening. Picture date: Wednesday November 24, 2021.

A musician is to find out how long he will spend in prison after pleading guilty to the murder of 18-year-old student Bobbi-Anne McLeod.

Cody Ackland, 24, will return to Plymouth Crown Court where Judge Robert Linford will pass a life sentence and impose the minimum term of custody he will serve before he can apply for parole.

At a hearing last month, Ackland admitted the murder of the teenager on a date between November 19 and 23 last year.

He denied kidnap but the Crown will not be seeking a trial on that charge.

Cody Ackland is facing a life sentence after admitting murdering the teenager (Devon and Cornwall Police/PA)
Cody Ackland is facing a life sentence after he admitted murdering Bobbi-Anne McLeod (Devon and Cornwall Police/PA)

Close family members of the teenager, including her mother, father and brother, sat in the courtroom while friends watched proceedings on a video link from an adjacent court.

No-one from Ackland’s family was present in court, although a relative said they were “devastated” by the murder.

The relative, who asked not to be named, said: “My family are going through a lot right now.”

He added: “Everyone is devastated and absolutely it’s a tragic time for everyone, especially Bobbi-Anne’s family.”

The sentencing hearing was adjourned until today due to outstanding pathology reports needing to be served.

Cody Ackland first appeared at Plymouth Magistrates’ Court last November accused of the teenager's murder (Elizabeth Cook/PA)
Cody Ackland first appeared at Plymouth Magistrates’ Court last November accused of murder (Elizabeth Cook/PA)

Student Miss McLeod was last seen waiting at a bus stop in Plymouth on the evening of Saturday, November 20 last year, as she set off to meet friends.

Her body was found three days later near the beach at Bovisand, about seven miles from where she lived.

Police said there was “no known link” between Miss McLeod and Ackland.

During an opening inquest held last year no cause of death for the teenager was given.

In the aftermath of Miss McLeod’s disappearance, a friend told the PA news agency that she believed the victim “didn’t have a clue” who her attacker or attackers were.

A woman lays flowers on Sheepstor Road in Plymouth
A woman lays flowers on Sheepstor Road in Plymouth (Ben Birchall/PA)

Ackland was lead guitarist in Plymouth-based indie band Rakuda, who released their first EP in August last year.

The other members of Rakuda 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.

Ackland, of Radcliffe Close, Southway, Plymouth was remanded into custody until today.