A day-by-day round-up of the case at Lewes Crown Court.

NOVEMBER 13 2001: Sara and Michael Payne pose briefly together for massed ranks of photographers on the court steps, both wearing For Sarah campaign badges, before stepping inside. The day is taken up with legal argument about media coverage and admissibility of evidence.

14: Halfway through the prosecution opening the trial is halted over a "procedural irregularity". A new jury is sworn in after being asked a series of questions to make sure they have no outside knowledge of the case.

15: Sarah's family listen once more to graphic details of their daughter's death as the trial restarts. The jury is told that scientific evidence proves a one-in-a-billion link between Sarah and Whiting and compelling evidence of his guilt.

19: Sarah's mother Sara, 32, briefly gives evidence to the court. Her composure cracks as she is handed Sarah's favourite coat. Later the Paynes flee the court in tears as a pathologist gives evidence. The report concludes Sarah died a violent death, with the circumstances pointing to a sexually-motivated homicide.

20: A police archaeologist says Sarah's little grave could have been dug in around five minutes. Farm worker Luke Coleman describes the moment he found her body. The court allows publication of a picture of Whiting following the conclusion of evidence relating to his identity.

21: Rope, a shovel and plastic gardening ties looped together were found in the cab of Whiting's van. Workmates say Whiting was a loner with few friends. Deborah Bray tells the court how she found the little black shoe which became the most important piece of evidence in the case.

22: Whiting shook and sweated when he was arrested the evening after Sarah went missing, detectives tell the court. He denied any knowledge of the little girl's whereabouts and told officers he had been at a funfair on the night she vanished. A receipt was found from a garage near where Sarah was buried for £20 of petrol, bought on the night she disappeared. He was arrested.

23: Police doctor Evan Gerrard tells the court Whiting had three small, recent scratches on his arms and chest when he was arrested. A friend, Terry Heath, who bumped into Whiting shortly before he was arrested, said the usually "grubby, dirty" man looked as though he had been "steam cleaned".

26: Whiting refused to answer any questions at interview and his solicitor applied for a writ of habeas corpus - a little-used legal procedure - to stop police from questioning him on his second arrest, the jury was told.

27: The complex web of fibre evidence proving Whiting was with Sarah on the night she died is explained to the jury.

28: The court hears that DNA tests proved a blonde hair belonging to Sarah was found on Whiting's red sweatshirt.

29: The defence says the hair could have been transferred to the sweatshirt during examination in the lab.

30: Whiting again remained silent when he was charged with Sarah's murder, the interviewing officer tells the court.

DECEMBER 3: Two police videos retracing Sarah's last movements are shown to the hushed courtroom. The prosecution case closes.

4: Whiting takes the witness stand. He tells the court that all the evidence against him is a "coincidence."

5: He becomes increasingly aggressive in the witness box as he is unable to answer questions. The case ends abruptly moments after he leaves the witness box.

6: In his closing speech Timothy Langdale tells the jury how the fragments of forensic evidence build up into a jigsaw which shows Whiting's guilt with "clarity".

7: In her closing speech Sally O'Neill says Whiting harmed his own defence by his 'inadequate' show in the witness box but insists much of the forensic evidence was flawed and urges the jury to think "very carefully" before convicting her client.

10: In his summing up speech Judge Richard Curtis tells jurors to have courage and not to shrink from being decisive before sending them out to begin their deliberations.

12: The jury returns a guilty verdict against Whiting on both charges, kidnap and murder. He is jailed for life.