The psychologist who assessed the teenage killer of Alesha MacPhail has blamed “political correctness” for preventing early-years psychopathy screening.
Forensic psychologist Dr John Marshall was one of the psychologists who assessed 16-year-old Aaron Campbell, who admitted to murdering and raping the six-year-old Alesha MacPhail.
Although there is growing evidence to suggest some psychopathic traits are hereditary, Dr Marshall warned that this research was being ignored by “politically correct” children’s services.
Dr Marshall wrote in the Scotsman: “Researchers have shown that having these traits in childhood predicts violent offending later in life.
“There are facts and ugly facts and social workers, clinicians and practitioners – particularly those of a more authoritarian left-wing bent in my experience – refuse to have any discussions about genetic dispositions.
“Politically correct fears of labelling, stigma and rejection of genetic disposition science are getting in the way of truly tackling this serious problem.
He warned that colleagues had been “side-lined” for questioning the theory of adverse childhood experiences (ACE’s) which he claimed was “disproportionately” focused on by Scottish children’s services.
He added: “There is a culture in children’s services that almost everything we see has to be linked to some past trauma.”
Dr Marshall called for a focus on early identification and specialist, tailored interventions to tackle the “major public health issue” of psychopathy.
A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: "Since 2008 we have shifted our focus towards prevention and early intervention of offending by young people, helping lay the foundations for a whole system approach.
"This partnership approach has a shared ambition of what we want to do to prevent, divert, manage and change offending behaviour by children and young people."