Man Found Guilty Of Elaine Doyle Murder

A man has been convicted of murdering a teenage girl in 1986.


Elaine Doyle, 16, was found dead in a lane less than 50 yards from her home in Greenock, Inverclyde, 28 years ago.

John Docherty, 49, was found guilty yesterday of killing the teenager as she was returning home from a disco in the town.

During the 50-day trial, prosecutors said Docherty, of Dunoon, Argyll and Bute, forced her to the ground and killed her. She had been strangled.

He denied the charges, claiming someone else was responsible, but jurors at the High Court in Edinburgh convicted him of the murder by a majority verdict.

Detective Superintendent Bobby Hendren, who led the cold case review, said: ''I am extremely pleased with today's verdict. This investigation has always been about Elaine Doyle and her family and bringing the man responsible for her murder to trial.

''I would like to pay tribute to her mum and brother who have continued to support us throughout this investigation and I am sorry that her dad is no longer with us to hear the verdict.

''I can only hope that today's verdict brings them some comfort.

''I would also like to thank the people of Greenock for their continued help and support in the past 28 years.  I, and all the officers who worked on this investigation,  are well aware that the senseless murder of Elaine has cast a long shadow over the town of Greenock and we would not be where we are today without their support.

''I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Scottish Police Authority Forensic Scientists for their help.  They have continually looked for new ideas and new ways of working to help this investigation.  Their support was vital in bringing John Docherty to justice."

Elaine's mum, Maureen Doyle, said: "We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the Police Officers and staff who have work on Elaine's enquiry from 1986 until now.

"Particular thanks must also go to Mr Frank Mulholland, the Lord Advocate, who was kind to my late husband, Jack when he met him 3 years ago and who has followed the progress of the enquiry since 1986 and Mr John Scullion, for prosecuting the case at court.

"The people of Inverclyde who have lived this nightmare with us for the last 28 years and have always supported our family.

"The result at court doesn't make our day to day living any easier – the pain doesn’t go away, but, my son John and I take comfort that we now have justice for Elaine, which is all we, especially her dad Jack campaigned for."

Docherty will be sentenced in August.

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