The mother of Caroline Glachan said justice has been done but she will always feel the “void” left by her daughter’s death as one of her killers was jailed for at least 17 years.

Donna Marie Brand, 44, was found guilty of murder in December at the High Court in Glasgow alongside Robert O’Brien, 45, and Andrew Kelly, 44, of killing the 14-year-old.

During 10 days of evidence, the jury heard the trio had arranged to meet Caroline at a bridge near the towpath beside the River Leven, between Renton and Bonhill in West Dunbartonshire, on August 25, 1996.

Caroline was repeatedly punched and kicked, and had bricks or similar items thrown at her, causing blunt force trauma to her head and body.

Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter: She was pushed or fell into undergrowth and her body was discovered in the river at Place of Bonhill, Renton, later the same day – which was her mother’s 40th birthday.

We told earlier how Brand was jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum of 17 years when she was sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow today.

O’Brien and Kelly were sentenced to life at the same court in January, with O’Brien ordered to serve a minimum of 22 years behind bars and Kelly handed a minimum of 18 years.

Speaking outside the court on Monday, Caroline’s mother Margaret McKeich said she was “pleased” at the sentence.

She said: “It was a good sentence and it was actually more than I was expecting, I’m quite pleased. Now it’s like a weight lifted off my shoulders and as I’ve said before it’s not closure, it’s justice, we don’t get closure, it’s a void that will not ever be filled, so you don’t get closure.

“I’m pleased the way it went today.”

Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter: She said that she and Caroline’s father, who was also at the court, are both “serving a sentence as well, only ours doesn’t come to an end, we don’t get parole”.

Brand could not attend court for sentencing in January because she was in hospital and on Monday appeared via video link.

Judge Lord Braid said Brand had been convicted of a “brutal” murder, which was witnessed by two young children.

During the trial, forensic pathologist Dr Marjorie Turner told the court the 14-year-old was still alive when she went into the water and the ultimate cause of death was drowning.

Lord Braid said while Brand did not take part in the assault itself, she shared in responsibility for the crime because she left Caroline face down in the river while she was still alive and was part of a plan of “murderous violence”.

He said: “Caroline was a popular teenager. She was a lover of life. Due in part to you, she has been deprived of living that life.

“In addition, a daughter has been taken from her loving mother. She has been deprived of seeing the woman that Caroline would have become and taking pride in the potential Caroline could have fulfilled.

“No sentence I pass on you can possibly make up for that loss.”

Thomas Ross KC, representing Brand, said she was 17 at the time of the murder and urged the judge to take note of sentencing guidelines for young people under 25 which recognise they may not have reached full maturity.

Lord Braid said he took into account Brand’s age and the fact that her overall responsibility was less than that of the men when passing sentence.

However, Mrs McKeich said while Brand was 17, her daughter was only 14.

She said: “Her age means nothing to me, she knew what she was doing.”

When sentencing the two men in January, judge Lord Braid described the murder as “brutal, depraved and above all wicked”.

He said O’Brien was the main perpetrator and used “extreme violence” on Caroline.

The judge said while Kelly played a lesser role, he was also involved in inflicting “murderous violence” on the teenager.