'She would fight alongside us' - march through Plymouth in memory of Bobbi-Anne McLeod

  • Watch Claire Manning's report.

A march and vigil took place in Plymouth on Saturday (21 May) to celebrate the life of teenager Bobbi-Anne Mcleod, who was murdered while waiting for a bus in the city last year.

Cody Ackland, 24, from Plymouth was jailed for life on Thursday (19 May) after brutally murdering Bobbi-Anne in a sadistic and prolonged attack.

The march was the third of similar events that have taken place in Plymouth to end Violence Against Women and Girls.

One woman taking part in the march told ITV News: "It's very sad. It's lovely to see everybody coming together but it's sad we've had to.

"This should never have happened in our city, ever and it's quite emotional really."

Elle Butcher who helped organise the march spoke powerfully to a crowd of people on Plymouth Hoe. She said: "Bobbi-Anne should be here today. She was the kind of woman who would reach out her hand and look after you in any given moment.

"She was the kind of woman who would fight alongside us."

Elle spoke to a crowd on Plymouth Hoe. Credit: ITV News

Elle explained the daily fear she lives with through being a woman: "I'm quite a party goer and I love a night out but the one thing that I hate about my nights out is either being groped or cat called and that's the one thing that really pushes me for change because I don't want to deal with that.

"I don't want to have to come home the next morning and check for spike marks or needle marks or pin marks."

Bobbi-Anne's neighbour Tiffany and her young family took part in the march. She said: "She should have never been at that bus stop and not be fine to be there.

"She should have been able to go to town. I don't want to have to worry on a daily basis that it's going to happen to my girls when they go out."

Tiffany's teenage daughter told ITV News: "I don't feel like we should be here. She was very very close to us and it's just not fair."

On the day of Cody Ackland's sentencing, Cllr Sally Haydon, Plymouth Labour's spokesperson on Violence Against Women and Girls, said: "My heart goes out to Bobbi-Anne’s family, friends and the Leigham community at the impossibly difficult details we've heard today.

"We stand by your side in celebrating her memory and pushing for the changes to ensure that tragedies like this can never happen again.

"Next week the Plymouth Commission on Ending Violence Against Women and Girls will report.

"Given the overwhelming strength of public feeling it is imperative that people on the Commission, including myself, do all we can to ensure its report and recommendations will make a real difference to the safety of women and girls in our city.

"This is the time to show the women and girls of Plymouth that our leaders are listening, and that things can - and they must - change."