Rachel Manning's real killer finally jailed after 13 years
Shahidul Ahmed stood by as the murdered girl's boyfriend was wrongly imprisoned for six years
A MAN who evaded justice for 13 years after strangling teenager Rachel Manning to death was finally found guilty today and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Shahidul Ahmed, 41, was convicted at Luton Crown Court of murdering Manning in Woburn as she tried to get home from a party on a cold, wet night in December 2000.
Dressed in 1970s fancy dress, Manning had lost her way and was attacked by Ahmed, then a 29-year-old waiter at an Indian restaurant. He dragged her body into the undergrowth at Woburn Golf Course, where she was found two days later.
Manning's boyfriend Barri White was wrongly convicted of her murder in 2002 and spent six years in prison. He was acquitted at a retrial in 2008 after his case was featured on a BBC /Rough Justice/ documentary which raised questions about key scientific evidence in his first trial.
Ahmed only fell under suspicion when he was arrested for an unrelated sexual assault in 2010. His DNA matched samples taken from a car steering lock used to batter Manning after she was killed.
Today White rejoiced as Ahmed was given life with a minimum term of 17 years for Manning's murder, reports The Times.
"I feel over the moon that justice has finally been done," said White, "and really happy that Rachel's family have finally got justice and the closure they deserve."
Neither White, nor his friend Keith Hyatt who spent three years in prison after being wrongly convicted of helping to dispose of Manning's body, have received an apology from police or any compensation.
Today the judge told Ahmed: "You must have known that two other people - Barri White and Keith Hyatt - had suffered the agony of being accused, convicted and imprisoned for offences of which they were wholly innocent. Nobody can bring back Rachel's lost life and their lost years." ·