Elaine Doyle killer jailed for life

Elaine Doyle killer jailed for life

Elaine Doyle was found murdered near her home almost three decades ago (Police Scotland/PA Wire)

John Docherty was given a life sentence at the High Court in Glasgow for the killing of the Greenock school girl (Police Scotland/PA Wire)

First published in National News © by

A man convicted of murdering a teenage girl in 1986 has been jailed for a minimum of 21 years.

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

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

Docherty, 50, was arrested last year following a cold case review and a fter a 12-week trial was found guilty of strangling the teenager as she returned home from a disco.

Scotland's top prosecutor, Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland QC, was employed in Greenock at the time and said that after 28 years, Elaine could now rest in peace.

In a statement, the Lord Advocate said: "Today's sentence ends a long search for justice for the Doyle family.

"Elaine Doyle was 16 at the time of her death. It deeply touched the people of Inverclyde and beyond who never let her memory fade.

"The support of the public to law enforcement was unwavering and has played a large part in bringing Elaine's murderer to justice. The sterling work of the police officers and prosecutors who worked on the case is reflected in the verdict. Elaine can now rest in peace."

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.

The former soldier, from Dunoon, Argyll and Bute, was served an indictment in January - the first for an unsolved killing since the Lord Advocate set up the cold case unit on the 25th anniversary of Elaine's murder.

He was convicted at the High Court in Edinburgh on June 17, when the teenager's mother Maureen Doyle thanked officers and staff who had worked on the inquiry.

The family made no comment as they attended court today.

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