Teenager who raped and killed six-year-old Alesha MacPhail named

The teenage killer of six-year-old Alesha MacPhail has been unmasked after a judge lifted a ban on revealing his identity.

Aaron Campbell lived on the same road as Alesha’s grandparents on the Isle of Bute, where he snatched the schoolgirl from her bed and raped her last July.

The schoolgirl was days into her summer holiday on the island when her body was found dumped in nearby woodland with more than 100 injuries.

It can now be reported that her killer was a fifth year Rothesay Academy pupil, who lifted weights, played computer games and had his own YouTube channel.

YouTube clips featuring the 16-year-old show him performing somersaults on a trampoline, saying to the camera: “I’d like to welcome you guys to the channel.”

In another he addresses viewers: “Yo, it’s Aaron Campbell here.”

A nine-day trial at the High Court in Glasgow heard Campbell drank alcohol, used cannabis, and hosted a party of around 15 friends at the home he shared with his housekeeper mother earlier on the night he abducted Alesha.

CCTV footage from his mother’s own security system provided the evidence detectives needed to prove he had left the property on Ardbeg Road in Rothesay at the crucial time.

She had contacted police herself, hoping the footage would eliminate her son from the investigation.

Georgina Lochrane
Georgina Lochrane

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.

He had earlier tried to contact Alesha’s father Robert MacPhail and his partner Toni McLachlan, thought to have been seeking to buy cannabis as he had done from Mr MacPhail in the past.

A jury found Campbell guilty of rape and murder unanimously on Thursday.

Media organisations including the Daily Record, BBC Scotland and STV then applied to have a ban on revealing his identity lifted.

Scots law prohibits the naming of under 18s who are the subject of criminal proceedings.

Alesha MacPhail
Alesha MacPhail

Lord Matthews opted to lift the ban in the case he said had caused “such revulsion”.

Alesha’s mother Georgina Lochrane was in court to hear the judge’s decision on Friday.

Campbell, who the judge heard has a history of self-harm, anxiety and depression, will be sentenced on March 21.

Lord Matthews warned the teenager, currently being held at Polmont Young Offenders Institute, that he may never be released from custody.