NEWS / COURTS / GLASGOW UK NEWS
The judge agreed to lift a legal restriction on naming the teenager following an application by media outlets
The teenager who brutally raped and killed six-year-old Alesha MacPhail on the Isle of Bute has been named as Aaron Campbell.
Judge Lord Matthews agreed to lift a legal restriction on revealing the 16-year-old’s identity following an application by media organisations.
Campbell, who is from Ardbeg near Rothesay, was convicted of raping and murdering Alesha at the High Court on Thursday and will be sentenced on 21 March.
He abducted Alesha at knifepoint from her bedroom at her grandparents’ home on the Isle of Bute in July 2018.
He then carried her half a mile to a woodland clearing on the Scottish holiday island, where she was raped and smothered to death.
Upon conviction, Judge Lord Matthews told him he had committed “some of the most wicked and evil crimes this court has ever heard of in decades of dealing with depravity”.
Prior to conviction, Campbell was living at home with his mother and younger sister. His father works offshore in the oil industry. His mother, Jeanette Campbell, gave evidence during the murder trial.
She told how the family had moved to the Isle of Bute in 2006, describing her son as very clever at school, well-liked with lots of friends.
The court was told he was fit, that he used gym equipment and did “parkour”.
His mother also told how he smoked cannabis and would use his pocket money to buy it from Alesha’s father Robert MacPhail.
On the night of Alesha’s murder, he held a party with school friends at the family home to celebrate the end of exams.
It was after his friends left that he went to Alesha’s grandparents’ home and abducted her at knifepoint.
After carrying her to woodland in the grounds of a disused hotel, he brutally raped and murdered Alesha, who suffered 117 injuries.
After a jury found him unanimously guilty at Glasgow’s High Court, Alesha’s mother Georgina Lochrane said: “Words cannot express just 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.”
Alesha’s family added in a statement: “We hope that the boy who took her from us is jailed for a long time because of what he has done to our family.”
The child’s murder shocked the island community on the Firth of Clyde, where crime is rare, with one local parish minister telling the press it had created an “air of unreality”.