The teenager was arrested within a week of her death and a search of his home found a dog lead belonging to her, which was stained with her blood. Forensic tests also confirmed that her blood was on the teenager's training shoes and a barbell used to kill her, which matched one found at his home.
"I have told you I have no knowledge of this girl. You can ask me the same question but I will keep telling you the same thing," the teenager said during police questioning. "I am no murderer. I would not murder anybody. If I did I would not be standing here. I would top myself first ... It has been, like, tough, for three days now. I am 16, I am locked up with people telling me I have murdered someone ... This is beyond a joke. I am 16, I have got a job on Fridays, I enjoy the weekends and I party with my friends ... I am trying to be honest, but I do not know what the hell you are on yourself ... It makes me disgusted - I cannot believe that my name is down there for murder. I am upset ... I feel this is disgusting that I can basically be questioned like this... I would not be out of my house the next day laughing and smiling with my friends, partying basically... I am not a murderer, I would not have a clue. What would a murderer do, do you know what I mean. It's berserk."
Hmmm. In fairness, when you're 16 the world does tend to revolve around you. It's the mixture of truculence and self-pity that strikes me. But what about that evidence ?
The jury heard how during days of initial questioning by detectives after his arrest, the youth did not mention the lead. In police statements read out in court, officers then told him it had been found at his home and that the blood on it came from Ms Hyde. During the police interview the youth replied: "I do apologise. I panicked. I should have said from the start that I picked it up." He said he had discovered it while out walking along the bridle path where Ms Hyde was attacked, adding he had taken it home "and forgot about it."
Officers also questioned him about blood stains on his Lonsdale trainers, which, tests showed, had also come from Ms Hyde. But he was adamant he had not seen any blood on the path. He told detectives: "I walked the path and now I'm here for murder. There is something wrong here." He demanded that police test the paws of his own dog, and the hooves of a horse he had seen on the bridle path, to see if they had also walked through blood without anyone realising it.
He demanded ? There is something wrong here, isn't there ?
In an interview, the transcript of which was read out in court, the teen said he had seen the lead lying on the path as he returned from walking his own dog. He also claimed for the first time that he spotted a small amount of blood nearby. "When I walked down the path I did see blood and picked up the dog lead and put it in my pocket," he said. "I thought I had just found a dog lead." He told interviewers that when he heard of Kelly's murder three days after his discovery he did not come forward because he feared that he would be blamed. He also maintained he must have walked through a pool of the victim's blood as he made his way home. When told that more than 40 officers had conducted a fingertip search of the area and been unable to find a single drop of blood he said he could offer no further explanation. "Why would there be blood on my trainers?" he asked interviewers.
Why indeed ? I imagine that there's a bit of a backstory to this young man, which we'll find out about with one verdict, and not otherwise. There's a bit here.
The boy told officers that he had got out of bed at around 10.30am, ate breakfast and watched part of the police comedy movie Hot Fuzz. He said that although he was feeling a little under the weather he was delighted when his step-father received a phone call offering the teen work the following day ... He said that he left the house at around 11.40am to take his dog for a walk and to secretly smoke a cannabis joint away from his home. He claimed that he walked along the bridleway just metres from where Kelly's battered body would eventually be discovered. The teen said that he reached a concrete bridge some distance beyond the bridlepath where he smoked the joint and then returned home the same way.
Not every dope-smoking, unemployed teenager is a murderer, or there'd be an awful lot of them. But Huw Davies QC appears to be playing a pretty thin hand.