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Island vigil for Alesha MacPhail

Candles were lit on the Isle of Bute for the six-year-old found dead on the island last Monday.

A vigil has been held on the Isle of Bute following the death of schoolgirl Alesha MacPhail.

Local people gathered to light candles for the six-year-old in Rothesay’s Guildford Square on Sunday evening.

Alesha was on holiday from Airdrie in North Lanarkshire when she was reported missing from her grandparents’ home on the island in the Firth of Clyde last Monday.

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A police officer leaves balloons near a house on Ardbeg Road on the Isle of Bute (John Linton/PA)

Her body was later found in woodland and a 16-year-old boy has been charged with rape and murder.

Those wanting to show their support who were not able to attend the vigil were asked to light a candle and share an image with the hashtag #lightforalesha.

An online fundraiser set up to help Alesha’s relatives has meanwhile raised more than £10,000.

Detective Superintendent Stuart Houston said last week Alesha’s family had shown “incredible bravery through what has been an unimaginable ordeal” and thanked local people  for their assistance in the investigation.

The 16-year-old, who cannot be identified because of his age, made no plea during a private appearance at Greenock Sheriff Court on Friday and will return to court later this month.

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