On Air Now
Heart Breakfast with Jamie & Lucy 6am - 9am
The man who killed a Nottinghamshire teenager before going on to lead a normal life for twenty-six years has been jailed.
Fifty-one-year-old Paul Hutchinson has been told he will serve a minimum of 25 years after pleading guilty to the murder of Colette Aram.
She was just sixteen when he abducted and strangled her in the village of Keyworth.
Hutchinson had also admitted sending a letter taunting detectives in which he said they would never catch him.
He was arrested in April last year after a relative’s DNA on the national database closely matched that of the killer. The trail led detectives to Hutchinson.
He had repeatedly denied any involvement but changed his plea in late December, a month before he was due to go on trial.
Hutchinson then and now
Colette's mum Jacqui Kirkby - who now lives in Greece - has been speaking about when she heard Hutchinson had been arrested:
“I had been out with my husband and Kevin Flint [Nottinghamshire Police] phoned me. We had been out shopping and my mobile went and it was Kevin Flint and he said where are you? He said you are not driving are you? I was just getting out of the car, he said I’ve got something to tell you. He said to me we have got someone in custody, we’ve got the DNA. I remember just breaking down, I think it was the relief of it, the fact that they had something concrete.
"I thought is he going to be convicted? I thought why am I here? I need to be there. It was very frustrating for me knowing I was in Greece and he could be going to court, it was like having your hands tied."
"I came over in July, in October, and flew over urgently in December. Kevin Flint phoned me and said they had heard that he was going to change his plea. He knew I would want to be here. We really didn’t know up until he went into court whether he was going to stick by his guilty plea."
"When he pleaded not guilty I couldn’t believe that he would sit there knowing that the police had his DNA and so much evidence against him."
"When he changed his plea I just felt that from day one he has mocked and mocked the police. I just think it was possibly his last chance to have another dig, another joke against the police."
"He would have known in October he was guilty."
"I don’t think we will ever have closure. We’ve got the satisfaction of knowing someone has been caught and he will go to prison but the only thing for him being in prison is that he will lose his home comforts."
Detective Superintendent Kevin Flint, who took over the investigation in December 2004, said:
"Hutchinson is a violent, manipulative, inveterate liar who took the life of an innocent girl and destroyed her family."
"This has been a long and exhaustive inquiry but to finally have a conviction is a tremendous feeling for the team and an extremely proud moment for Nottinghamshire Police."
Meanwhile, mother Jacqui admits time passing has not made dealing with Colette's death any easier:
"We’ve spent the last 26 years looking over our shoulders, watching and waiting, wondering who it was. The trial was going to be traumatic. I was quite prepared to have to face that. At the end of the day we want justice for Colette."
"He destroyed our lives really. Our lives have been put on hold. He has got on with his life, he took my daughter away from me, he has carried on living what would appear a normal life. He destroyed our family."
"It’s there all the time. There’s not a day goes by that we do not think about her."
"Even though it was 26 years ago you think about things she used to do. I see girls she was at school with, I wonder what she would be doing now."