Accused gave ‘no comment’ when charged with Alesha MacPhail murder, court hears

A teenager accused of the abduction, rape and murder of a six-year-old girl gave a “no comment” response when charged by police, a court has heard.

The 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was arrested two days after Alesha MacPhail’s body was found in woods on the Isle of Bute on July 2 last year.

Giving evidence at the High Court in Glasgow, Detective Constable Ian Wilson said the teenager was taken to Glasgow for a police interview, where he responded “no comment” to questions.

On being charged with Alesha’s murder, he also replied: “No comment.”

The detective said this was not unusual and was within the teenager’s rights.

The court also heard from Detective Constable Graham McIlwraith, who said he searched the accused’s home and noticed one knife missing from a block of five.

Shown a photograph of a knife found on the shore opposite where Alesha had been staying with her father and grandparents, he said it “would appear to be the same design” as the Jamie Oliver brand knives found in the accused’s house.

The teenager denies abducting, raping and murdering Alesha, and attempting to hide evidence.

He has lodged a special defence blaming Toni McLachlan – the girlfriend of Alesha’s father Robert MacPhail – for the killing.

On Wednesday last week, Ms McLachlan told jurors she “loved” Alesha and had nothing to do with her death.

The trial, before judge Lord Matthews, continues.