Saturday 19 October 2019

Teen to be sentenced for rape and murder of Alesha MacPhail

Alesha MacPhail Photo: Facebook
Alesha MacPhail Photo: Facebook

Lucinda Cameron

A 16-year-old boy who abducted, raped and murdered six-year-old Alesha MacPhail will be sentenced today.

Alesha's body was found in woods on the Isle of Bute on July 2 last year, hours after she was reported missing from the house her father shared with his parents and partner on the island.

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

Aaron Campbell was convicted at the High Court in Glasgow last month where a jury found him guilty unanimously following a nine-day trial.

He will be sentenced at the court on Thursday.

Campbell could not be identified during the trial due to his age but following his conviction judge Lord Matthews lifted a ban on revealing his identity.

The teenager took Alesha from the bed where she was sleeping and inflicted horrific injuries before dumping her body in woodland.

Pathologist John Williams told the trial that Alesha had 117 separate injuries, and a post-mortem examination he conducted indicated she had died from "significant and forceful pressure to her neck and face".

The court heard that Alesha was days into her summer holiday with father Robert MacPhail, 26, and grandparents Angela King and Calum MacPhail when she was snatched by Campbell, who tried to blame her father's girlfriend for the crime.

Prosecutor Iain McSporran said he hoped the guilty verdict would remove any doubt that she could have been involved.

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