Teenager sentenced to life for rape and murder of Alesha MacPhail

Aaron Campbell

Aaron Campbell has been sentenced to life in jail

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Aaron Campbell, the 16-year-old who abducted, raped and murdered six-year-old Alesha MacPhail, has been sentenced to life imprisonment.

The teenager was ordered to spend at least 27 years behind bars today, after being convicted at the High Court in Glasgow last month where a jury found him guilty unanimously following a nine-day trial.

Alesha's body was discovered in woodland 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.

Georgina Lochrane, the mother of Alesha, leaves the High Court in Glasgow following the sentencing

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.

Tributes alongside a photo of six-year-old Alesha MacPhail. 

The teenager took Alesha from her bed as she slept and inflicted horrific injuries before dumping her body in the nearby woods.

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


CCTV evidence

Robert MacPhail, the father of Alesha, with his partner Toni McLachlanat

It was CCTV footage from Campbell's mother's personal security system which provided the evidence to help detectives catch the killer.

His mother had provided the footage in the hopes that it would eliminate her son as a suspect.

Campbell was captured coming and going from his home several times in the early hours of July 2, removing items of clothing and retrieving a torch.