Ted Bundy-obsessed killer jailed for life after murdering teenager Bobbi-Anne McLeod

Cody Ackland, a musician obsessed with US serial killer Ted Bundy, was sentenced at Plymouth Crown Court today

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Cody Ackland, 24, has been jailed for life at Plymouth Crown Court for acting out his warped fantasies by brutally murdering teenager Bobbi-Anne McLeod in November last year.

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 serial killer Ted Bundy, who murdered at least 20 women in the 1970s.

The car valet was unknown to police when he bludgeoned 18-year-old Bobbi-Anne with a claw hammer.

A court sketch of Cody Ackland
A court sketch of Cody Ackland
Ackland will serve a minimum of 31 years
Ackland will serve a minimum of 31 years

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, like Bundy, he killed her with a hammer.

Ackland burnt her handbag and loaded her blooded body into his boot before driving 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 Radcliffe Close, Southway, Plymouth, pleaded guilty to murder.

On Thursday, he was handed a life sentence and ordered to spend at least 31 years in prison.

In the days and weeks leading up to the student’s death, the obsessive searched the internet for information about serial killers’ crimes.

He kept over 3,000 grisly images on his phone, depicting dismembered or dead bodies, post-mortem examinations and murder scenes, the court heard.

A statement released by Bobbi-Anne's family said: “Bobbi-Anne was so loved and had so many life plans; he cruelly ripped that life away from her and us.

“We can’t even contemplate a future without her in it. There will never be anything the justice system can impose that will ever come close to what he deserves.

“We do want to say thank you to everyone. There is no piece of paper, bulletin board, flyer, or anything big enough out there on which we can say thank you.

Bobbi-Anne McLeod
Bobbi-Anne McLeod

“The help and support from everyone, not just friends and family but everyone, everywhere, who helped with all of the posters, posts and messages to bring our baby, our Bobbi, home – thank you.

“To everyone in the police, the investigation team and all of the services, we thank you for everything you have done and for finally getting justice for Bobbi-Anne.”

While Alison Hernandez, the police and crime commissioner for Devon and Cornwall, said she hoped Ackland was never released from prison.

She said: “This case illustrates the best and worst in humanity. The worst in a killer who showed such incredible cruelty to his victim and the best in the community in Plymouth who expressed an outpouring of grief and support for Bobbi-Anne’s family.

“I hope her loved ones and the community take some solace in the fact that that he is locked up and police have investigated this case with professionalism and compassion, even though nothing will ease the devastation of losing Bobbi-Anne, a much-loved young woman.

“This case has touched the hearts of people around the country. No reasonable person could ever fathom the actions of this murderer and I hope, for public safety and reassurance, that he’s never released.”