Monday 23 September 2019

Alesha MacPhail's mother 'disgusted' by killer's appeal over prison term

Alesha MacPhail Photo: Facebook
Alesha MacPhail Photo: Facebook

Lewis McKenzie, Press Association Scotland

The mother of murdered schoolgirl Alesha MacPhail has said she is "disgusted" her killer can appeal against his 27-year prison sentence.

Speaking on ITV's Good Morning Britain on Thursday, Georgina Lochrane said "every single day" has been a struggle since Aaron Campbell raped and murdered her daughter last year.

Georgina Lochrane, the mother of Alesha MacPhail. Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Georgina Lochrane, the mother of Alesha MacPhail. Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Tears: Georgina Lochrane leaves court in Glasgow after a boy (16) was found guilty of the murder and rape of her daughter Alesha. Photo: PA
Father Robert MacPhail and mother Georgina MacPhail leaving the Coats Funeral Home Photo: Lesley Martin/PA Wire

Campbell was earlier this month granted leave to appeal against his sentence, but Ms Lochrane said he should not be allowed to do so.

Campbell was handed a life sentence with a minimum term of 27 years when he was convicted following a nine-day trial at the High Court in Glasgow earlier this year.

Speaking of the decision to allow him an appeal over his sentence, Ms Lochrane said: "I am disgusted by it, it's not fair.

"He gets to appeal, where does Alesha fit in? She didn't get to appeal against being murdered, so why should he be allowed to?

"They shouldn't be allowed it. They are allowed to cause more pain and that's not fair."

Campbell, 16, snatched six-year-old Alesha from her bed at her grandparents' home on the Isle of Bute last summer, raped and murdered her, and then dumped her body in a nearby woodland.

Photo issued by Police Scotland of Aaron Campbell, who can now be identified as the 16-year-old who abducted, raped and murdered six-year-old Alesha MacPhail
Photo issued by Police Scotland of Aaron Campbell, who can now be identified as the 16-year-old who abducted, raped and murdered six-year-old Alesha MacPhail

At his sentencing, he was described by judge Lord Matthews as a cold and calculated individual who had shown "not a flicker of remorse" during the trial.

Ms Lochrane also told GMB she struggles to make her other daughter, five-year-old Courtney, feel safe and is over-protective after what happened to Alesha.

"It's hard, I am not going to lie. Every single day is a struggle," she said.

"It's hard to tell her she is going to be kept safe but in reality, you can't tell that to your children now.

"I used to say that to both my kids all the time and now look where I am - I only have one child left that is alive. So it's very, very hard every single day to make her feel safe.

"I don't take any risks. Before this, I used to take any risks. But now I won't. Especially with my other wee girl, I am so protective over her, more now. I always have been protective but now it's extremely bad."

Ms Lochrane was joined on the programme by Ann Marie Cocozza from Families Against Murder and Suicide - a charity which has provided support to the family.

Ms Cocozza said the system allowing killers to appeal must be changed and she called for more rights to be given to the families of murder victim.

Speaking of Campbell's appeal, she said: "It's his human rights. They are allowed to do that. It's the system and it's a system that needs to be changed.

"What happened to Alesha and what's happened to other young children in this country is a crime against humanity. Your first basic human right is the right to live.

"When someone's murdered, that right has been taken from them."

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