Bobbi-Anne McLeod: rock musician charged with murder of 18-year-old

Cody James Ackland, 24, appeared before magistrates in connection with McLeod’s disappearance from bus stop in Devon

A 24-year-old rock musician has appeared before magistrates charged with the murder of 18-year-old Bobbi-Anne McLeod, who disappeared from a bus stop in Devon.

Cody James Ackland, who lives in the Southway area of Plymouth, appeared in court dressed in a grey sweatshirt and grey trousers, flanked by two custody officers.

During a two-minute hearing he spoke only to give his name, age and address before being remanded in custody. He is due to appear at Truro crown court in Cornwall on Monday.

Cody Ackland
Cody Ackland. Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock

Members of McLeod’s family watched from the public gallery and one of them shouted at Ackland as he was led from the dock. A small crowd gathered outside court to watch him being driven away.

McLeod, who was described as looking much younger than her age, went missing on Saturday evening and her body was found on Tuesday close to Bovisand beach, seven miles away.

Bobbi-Anne McLeod
Bobbi-Anne McLeod’s body was found near Bovisand beach. Photograph: Facebook

Ackland attended a local school and is the lead guitarist and songwriter for a Plymouth indie rock band called Rakuda. Named after a bar on the city’s historic waterfront, the group has a loyal following in the area.

On Friday his bandmates issued a statement saying: “The remaining members of Rakuda are all extremely shocked and in complete disbelief by the tragic event that has unfolded over the last several days. Our thoughts and prayers are with Bobbi-Anne McLeod’s family and friends who must be devastated at their loss.

“As a mark of respect, we have decided that we shall not be going forward as a band and will be disbanding with immediate effect. We will not be making any further comments at this time.”

A candlelit vigil was taking place on Plymouth Hoe on Friday evening to remember McLeod and to express concern about women’s safety. Many Plymouth residents were also planning to place candles in their windows as a show of solidarity with McLeod’s family.

The Conservative leader of the city council, Nick Kelly, has been criticised after saying in an ITV News interview about the McLeod case: “Everybody has a responsibility to try to not put themselves in a compromising position.”

He went on to say that women should not need to be concerned about where they are walking or what they are wearing, but added: “That is probably not where we are right now.” The Labour party in the city has claimed the remarks are insensitive and has called for him to apologise.

Hundreds of people attended a candlelit vigil on Thursday evening close to the bus stop where McLeod was last seen.

The teenager’s mother, Donna McLeod, sobbed as she paid tribute to her daughter and thanked friends, family and the wider community for their support.

Speaking in public for the first time, she said: “Unfortunately, our beautiful Bobbi-Anne has been taken from us, but she will never be forgotten. I’d like everyone to hold their candles up. This is for Bobbi-Anne”.

There followed a moment of silence as the crowd held up their candles in unison. The family group released about 40 balloons into the sky.

Searches continued to take place in connection with the inquiry across the city and at the spot where McLeod’s body was found.

Contributor

Steven Morris

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