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Aaron Campbell to be sentenced for rape and murder of Alesha MacPhail

The six-year-old’s body was found in woods on the Isle of Bute on July 2 last year.

The body of Alesha MacPhail was found on the Isle of Bute last July (John Linton/PA)
The body of Alesha MacPhail was found on the Isle of Bute last July (John Linton/PA)

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.

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.

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Aaron Campbell, 16, will be sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow (Police Scotland/PA)

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.

PA

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