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Colin Ash-Smith refused right to appeal conviction of murder of Dartford schoolgirl Claire Tiltman

PUBLISHED: 12:59 30 November 2015 | UPDATED: 12:59 30 November 2015

Colin Ash-Smith

Colin Ash-Smith

Archant

Three judges at London’s Court of Appeal dismissed the application, meaning the 47-year-old will now likely spend the remainder of his life behind bars

The killer of Dartford schoolgirl Claire Tiltman has been refused the right to appeal his conviction.

Three judges at London’s Court of Appeal dismissed the application by Colin Ash-Smith on Friday, meaning the 47-year-old will now likely spend the remainder of his life behind bars.

Trial judge Mr Justice Sweeney told the killer at Inner London Crown Court when sentencing him: “I have no doubt that this was a premeditated murder that you carried out because of the feeling of power that it gave you.”

Claire, known to her friends as Tilt, was stabbed multiple times and murdered as she went to visit a friend in an alleyway close to her home in Greenhithe 1993, just four days after her 16th birthday.

The Dartford Grammar School pupil had just finished her mock GCSEs and dreamt of becoming a firefighter

Ash-Smith, a former milkman, was quizzed at the time of the original investigation, but could not be charged due to insufficient evidence, despite being a long term suspect and serving time in prison for two separate attacks on women.

Kent Police thoroughly reviewed earlier investigations and also searched Ash-Smith’s prison cell and the home of his parents, before a complex and detailed case was eventually compiled against him using minute pieces of evidence which, when put together, resulted in a strong case against the suspect.

Ash-Smith was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 21 years in November 2014 following a six week trial.

Claire’s parents, Linda and Cliff, died before her killer could be brought to justice, but they had been convinced Ash-Smith had murdered their daughter.

The judges rejected submissions made on Ash-Smith’s behalf that the trial judge wrongly allowed “gravely prejudicial” material to go before the jury.

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