Elaine Doyle's Killer Loses Conviction Appeal

20 May 2016, 19:08 | Updated: 20 May 2016, 19:09

A man jailed for the murder of Elaine Doyle in 1986 has lost his appeal against the conviction.

John Docherty was given a life sentence at the High Court in Glasgow in 2014 for the killing of the Greenock schoolgirl.

The 16-year-old was found dead in a lane less than 50 yards from her home three decades ago.

Docherty was arrested in 2013 following a cold case review and after a 12-week trial was found guilty of strangling the teenager as she returned home from a disco.

He launched an appeal against the conviction which was heard by judges in Edinburgh in April but refused on Friday.

Former soldier Docherty, from Dunoon, Argyll and Bute, was the first person to be served an indictment by the cold case unit set up by outgoing Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland QC.

Mr Mulholland worked in Greenock at the time of the murder and has described the conviction as a high point in his career.

Fraser Gibson, Procurator Fiscal for North Strathclyde, said: "We welcome the decision of the appeal court.

"The appalling murder of Elaine Doyle touched the hearts of the local community in Inverclyde.

"Law enforcement recognises the help given by the public in bringing Elaine's murderer to justice.

"Today's decision brings to an end the fight for justice for her family.''

Elaine was last seen alive by two friends after she left a disco in the town's Laird Street on June 1 1986. Her body was found the next day in a lane off Ardgowan Street.

Police spoke to thousands of people during the inquiry but it was advances in forensic science which eventually helped catch her killer, with DNA on her body matching that of Docherty.