Alesha MacPhail’s killer ‘had to stop himself laughing during trial’

A 16-year-old boy has been jailed for life with a minimum of 27 years for the rape and murder of six-year-old Alesha MacPhail.

:: The following report contains graphic content which may be distressing to some readers

Aaron Campbell admitted the charges at his sentencing on Thursday after maintaining his innocence during his trial, where he blamed the death on the girlfriend of Alesha’s father.

The girl’s mother Georgina Lochrane shouted after Campbell was sentenced: “Disgusting, vile litle f****** rat.”

Aleshas mother Georgina Lochrane shouted after Aaron Campbell was sentenced: disgusting, vile little f****** rat.

Alesha’s mother shouts at killer in court

Judge Lord Matthews said the teenager had to stop himself laughing at points during his trial and showed a “breathtaking lack of remorse” throughout.

He added that it was “a terrible thing to say of one so young” but evidence had shown Campbell was a “cold, callous, calculating, remorseless and dangerous individual”.

Lord Matthews added that the “rehabilitation” and “reintegration” of Campbell were “remote possibilities”.

CCTV shows Aleshas killer leaving home on the night she was murdered

CCTV shows killer on night of Alesha murder

A psychological evaluation carried out on 9 and 10 July last year highlighted no issues to suggest the teenager was not of sound mind when he murdered Alesha.

Campbell abducted the girl at knifepoint from her grandparents’ home on the Isle of Bute in July 2018.

The teenager, from Rothesay on the Scottish holiday island, then carried her half a mile to a woodland clearing where she was raped and smothered to death.

Home videos of Alesha MacPhail released
Alesha MacPhail was on holiday in Bute when she was killed

Pathologist John Williams told the trial that Alesha suffered 117 separate injuries.

A police officer wept in the dock while giving evidence because he was so badly affected by the memory of seeing the six-year-old’s body.

Aleshas mother at the trial on 14 February
Alesha’s mother Georgina Lochrane, pictured, called Campbell a ‘vile rat’ during the sentencing

Campbell denied having ever met Alesha during his trial, despite the fact traces of his DNA were found on the six-year-old’s neck, shorts, vest and her private parts.

He claimed the DNA was planted from a condom, and lodged a complaint blaming Toni McLachlan, the girlfriend of Alesha’s father for the attack.

His defence claimed the semen was “planted” on the six-year-old.

Toni McLachlan, girlfriend of Robert MacPhail (back), was accused by the 16-year-old suspect of killing Alesha MacPhail
Toni McLachlan, girlfriend of Robert MacPhail (back), was accused by the 16-year-old suspect of killing Alesha MacPhail

Asked about the attack during his trial, Campbell said: “I’ve never met Alesha MacPhail in person.

“I didn’t even know her name until everything that happened.”

Campbell could not be identified during the trial due to his age but judge Lord Matthews lifted the ban after his conviction.

16 year old murderer Aaron Campbell filmed on his trampoline

Child killer Aaron Campbell on his trampoline

Alesha was days into a summer holiday with her father Robert MacPhail and grandparents Angela King and Calum MacPhail when she was snatched by Campbell.

After a jury found him unanimously guilty, Ms Lochrane said: “Words cannot express how devastated I am to have lost my beautiful, happy, smiley wee girl.

“I am glad that the boy who did this has finally been brought to justice and that he will not be able to inflict the pain on another family that he has done to mine.”

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