THE Clydebank teenager’s untimely death shook locals as, nearly six months after the 15-year-old body’s was found, John Leathem admitted murdering her.
The death of Paige Doherty broke hearts everywhere.
The popular Clydebank schoolgirl went missing after leaving a friend’s house in March.
Tragically her body was found at the side of Great Western Road two days later.
Local deli owner John Leathem was arrested on suspicion of her murder and yesterday admitted the brutal murder of the 15-year-old.
Nearly six months on, we look at how the tragedy unfolded – from Paige going missing to her killer pleading guilty.
March 19: Missing teenager
Schoolgirl Paige Doherty is reported missing by her mum Pamela after failing to show up at her part-time hairdressing job on Saturday, March 19.
The 15-year-old disappeared on Saturday morning after leaving a sleepover at a friend’s home.
A Facebook page was quickly set up by friends and family of Paige in her home town of Clydebank and thousands of posters were produced appealing for information on her whereabouts.
Shopkeeper Ashy Ahmed, who runs the Fleming Foodstore in Whitecrook, says he saw the schoolgirl at around 8.15am on Saturday morning going into the Delicious Deli next door to buy a roll.
March 21: Body found
The search for Paige takes a sinister turn after police find a body in a wooded area off Great Western Road, just half a mile from where the schoolgirl was last seen.
Police cordon off part of the A82 between the Kilbowie and Drumry roundabouts as forensic teams comb the area.
March 22: Murder probe
One day after the grisly discovery, police confirm the body is Paige’s and launch a murder probe.
Well-wishers quickly start to leave tributes for the tragic teenager by the roadside.
One floral tribute for Paige reads: “RIP. This is so sad. A young life taken too soon, thoughts are with family and friends, and now no one is safe as someone is still out there, hope they get caught very quickly.
“Rest in peace little lady – worried dad of five girls.”
March 23: Police close in
Forensics officers cordon off the Delicious Deli in Whitecrook where Paige was last seen.
Police then taped off a nearby street in Clydebank, near Glasgow, and began searching cars and a house.
About 8.45pm, a small white tent like those typically used to prevent evidence becoming contaminated was erected outside the deli.
At the same time, officers were focusing on a property less than 500 yards away.
March 24: Deli owner arrested
A man – later revealed to be Delicious Deli owner John Leathem – is arrested in connection with Paige’s death.
Later that evening Clydebank landmark Titan Crane lights up pink in memory of the teenager.
March 26: Murder charge
Deli owner John Leatham appears in court charged with the murder of Paige Doherty.
The then-31-year-old makes no plea or declaration during a private hearing at Dumbarton Sheriff Court.
He is remanded in custody and scheduled to appear in court on April 1.
March 29: Investigation winds down
Police reopen the stretch of road close to where Paige’s body was found after more than a week of investigations.
April 1: Killer appears in court
John Leathem appears in court for the second time, less than a week after his initial appearance in the dock.
He makes no plea or declaration during the full committal hearing and is remanded in custody.
His next court date is not confirmed.
April 4: Cause of death confirmed
Paige Doherty’s death certificate reveals the teenager died from “sharp force injuries” to her neck.
April 12: Killer’s wife flees
John Leathem’s wife flees the family home with their young baby after angry locals target the property.
Police give up watching the flat, which is just yards away from the deli Paige was last seen, weeks after the arrest of the deli owner.
A neighbour says: “The police sat outside the home 24 hours a day.
“There was a lot of anger among people here because Paige was well-known and very popular.
“Some of the youngsters were quite open about smashing the windows of the flat as soon as the police moved out, so it would have been difficult for a young mother to return here.”
April 20: Paige’s funeral
Mourners gather at St Margaret’s Church in Clydebank to say goodbye to Paige a month after the schoolgirl’s death.
Two white horses and a carriage take Paige to chapel ahead of her funeral.
A procession of around 300 family, friends and well-wishers follow – the horses wear bright plumes and a pink floral star is placed on top of the carriage.
A private burial for close family and friends follows.
September 5: John Leathem pleads guilty to murdering Paige
Deli owner John Leathem admits murdering Paige.
The 32-year-old pleads guilty at the High Court in Glasgow ahead of a trial.
It emerges the vile killer stabbed the teenager 61 times and slashed her a further 85 times while the youngster struggled against him.
The defence claims Paige had gone to Leathem’s deli in Clydebank on March 19 and threatened to say he had tried to touch her if he didn’t give her a job.
The court is shown CCTV footage of Leathem emerging from his deli carrying Paige’s body wrapped in a bin bag and dumping her in the boot of his car.
Judge Lady Rae tells married father-of-two Leathem, a first offender: “This was a savage, frenzied attack on a child.”
Leathem is remanded in custody for sentencing at a later date.
Source: Daily Record