Cody Ackland, 24
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A twisted Indie band guitarist joked to police how his 18-year-old victim was still able to ‘make a noise’ despite him hitting her 12 times with a hammer before he delivered a fatal stamp to her throat, a court heard today – as the serial killer obsessed fiend awaits sentencing. 

Cody Ackland, 24, kidnapped Bobbi-Anne McLeod from a bus stop before bludgeoning her to death with a claw hammer at a Dartmoor beauty spot. Describing the moments after he battered the teenager in a police interview, he said: ‘It’s not funny but she started to make a noise and I thought ”f****** hell, wow, I mean hats off to her”.’ 

The killer had been ‘acting out his fantasy’, Plymouth Crown Court heard today. He had almost 3,000 graphic, grisly images of dead and dismembered people on his phone and morbidly fascinated by Bundy – who was executed in 1989 after kidnapping, raping and murdering at least 30 women and girls during the 1970s. 

Ackland told police he was ‘wound up and needed to get out of the house’ on the evening of November 20 last year. 

He drove around Plymouth looking for a victim when he randomly chanced upon Bobbi-Anne, who reminded him of one of his past girlfriends. After parking his car, he crept up on the 18-year-old along a path behind the bus stop before striking her over the back of the head with a claw hammer. 

The 4ft 11in college student fell to the ground and as ‘their eyes met’ he hit her over the head again, he later told police. Ackland said this initial attack was meant to ‘be it’, but as he walked back to his Ford Fiesta he saw Bobbi-Anne moving, so drove back and kidnapped the bleeding teenager by violently bundling her in the footwell.    

Ackland then drove her around 19 miles to a car park at Bellever Forest, on the fringes of Dartmoor, where he repeatedly hit her with a hammer, causing ‘multiple catastrophic injuries to her head and face’ during a ‘prolonged, frenzied, sadistic attack’. He recalled Bobbi-Anne say ‘I’m scared’ shortly before the savage assault. 

The killer then put her body into the boot of his red car and drove more than 25 miles to Bovisand, on the eastern side of Plymouth Sound, where he stripped her of her clothes and some jewellery and dumped her body in undergrowth down a slope.

Prosecutor Richard Posner said: ‘She had been dumped face down in the dirt and foliage. Her body was completely naked. Tragically, Bobbi was dead. She scene was closed off while her body was recovered. There were 14 lacerations to her head and face. Her body was identified through dental records.’   

Cody Ackland, 24

Bobbi-Anne McLeod

Cody Ackland, 24, admitted to murdering Bobbi-Anne McLeod (right) at a hearing last month. At his sentencing today, the court heard of his obsession with serial killers 

After the attack in November 2021, callous Ackland threw away her clothes in an allotment before going out partying with friends. 

Witnesses told how he was laughing, joking and hugging people and went to a pub-lock-in before later ordering pizza. He also attended a practice session with his rock band. Friends said the only time they had seen the killer so happy was at one of the band’s gigs.  

Meanwhile, Bobbi-Anne’s worried family tried to find her after she failed to meet her boyfriend, Louie Leach, in Plymouth. 

Three days later, Ackland – a car valet – turned himself in and confessed, telling detectives where he had dumped her body. At a previous hearing, Ackland, of Southway, Plymouth pleaded guilty to murder.

Richard Posner, prosecuting, told the court Ackland was leading ‘a double life’ and harboured a fascination with serial killers in the UK, Australia, US and Russia.

Mr Posner said Ackland had conducted extensive searches about ‘their crimes, the aftermath of such crimes, and the bodies left behind in days leading up to Bobbi-Anne (McLeod’s) death’.

He said he had also been searching the web pages of DIY stores for ‘hammers, crowbars and cutting tools’.

‘Cody Ackland led a double life. When he left home on November 20 and drove through Leigham in Plymouth towards the bus stop where Bobbi-Anne was,’ the prosecutor said.

‘He held such an unhealthy fascination and desire to imitate serial killers. His fascination was to become an unimaneagable wicked reality for Bobbi-Anne.’ 

In disturbing police interviews, Ackland told how he had ‘panicked’ at seeing Bobbi-Anne was still alive after the initial attack at the bus stop.  

‘I did it again, I hit her again with the hammer and went to get back in the car and was going to drive away,’ he said.

He described his reasoning as ‘an industrial way of thinking’ adding ‘I just thought problem, right, get rid of the problem.’

Ackland said Bobbi-Anne was still able to walk when they arrived at Bellever Forest car park. 

The killer said he had lifted Bobbi-Anne McLeod and supported her as they walked towards woodland.

He said she had said something like ‘I am scared’.

Ackland told police: ‘I said (to Miss McLeod) so am I, I never done this, I’ve never seen this’, but I meant to say ‘I’ve never done this’.

He described striking her 12 times to the head with a hammer to the head and face, but she was still breathing.

The twisted murderer said in interview: ‘It’s not funny but she started to make a noise and I thought ‘f****** hell, wow, I mean hats off to her’.’

He added that he had also trodden on her neck to suffocate her. 

Ackland's four-piece band were named after Bar Rakuda, a venue in the centre of the city which they regularly frequented

Ackland’s four-piece band were named after Bar Rakuda, a venue in the centre of the city which they regularly frequented

Bobbi-Anne's disappearance prompted a huge search after her phone, bus ticket and headphones were found abandoned. Police were able to trace her phone but could not pinpoint where in the city she was.

Bobbi-Anne

Bobbi-Anne’s disappearance prompted a huge search after her phone, bus ticket and headphones were found abandoned. Police were able to trace her phone but could not pinpoint where in the city she was. 

At 5.45pm on November 20, Miss McLeod left her home in Leigham to meet her boyfriend and walked to the nearby bus stop on Bampton Road, where she was last seen alive at 6.15pm.

By 7.15pm, the teenager’s family were starting to worry and a member of the public found her abandoned mobile phone and Apple AirPod case in the bus stop.

The teenager’s boyfriend contacted her family at 9pm asking where she was, and they immediately went out looking for her and appealing on social media.

Devon and Cornwall Police launched a missing person inquiry.

On Tuesday at lunchtime, he left work to walk to a police station to confess to murdering Miss McLeod.

He asked for a map and directed detectives to Bovisand – where police found her body hours later in woodland near a disused military fort.

Forensic evidence and phone data corroborated Ackland’s story, the court heard.

Crime scene investigators located the clothes at the allotments and his blood-stained trainers were found in his wardrobe. Miss McLeod’s blood was found in and around his car.

Rakuda, who released their first EP in August last year, 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, 24, who lived in central Plymouth with his mother and played in popular local band Rakuda, is pictured at an early hearing

Ackland, 24, who lived in central Plymouth with his mother and played in popular local band Rakuda, is pictured at an early hearing

Ackland's clip showed a fire and lyrics from an Oasis song

The spot is known as an area for youths to party

Social media content from Ackland quoted Oasis song Cast No Shadow and showed beach near where Bobbi-Anne was left

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