Glasgow & West Scotland

Hundreds attend Alesha MacPhail farewell

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Media captionMourners wore pink in Alesha's memory

Hundreds of mourners have attended the funeral of a six-year-old girl who was killed while on holiday on a Scottish island.

Mourners were asked to wear pink to remember Alesha MacPhail, who was found dead after disappearing from her grandmother's home on the Isle of Bute on 2 July.

A 16-year-old boy has been charged with her rape and murder.

In one of the tributes her uncle described her as "the brightest thing".

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Dozens of bows were tied to the railings of the building while cuddly toys including teddies and unicorns lined the wall outside Coats funeral home in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire.

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Image caption Six-year-old Alesha MacPhail was laid to rest in North Lanarkshire

During the service mourners heard tributes from people close to Alesha including an emotional speech from her uncle Calum MacPhail.

He said: "Alesha would rather hurt than you, she had a great amount of love for absolutely everyone.

"Alesha is everything that I wanted to be, she was kind, caring, smart, I just cannot believe she is gone.

"She was the brightest thing."

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Image caption Alesha's mother wrote a message which read: "I love you more than this world"

He was comforted by Alesha's mother Georgina Lochrane, known as Genie, who went up to hug him as he returned to his seat near the schoolgirl's father Robert MacPhail, her younger sister and other family members.

Hundreds of people later lined the streets as the funeral cortege travelled to Coltswood Cemetery, where she was laid to rest.

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Emma Gibson, Alesha's class teacher at Chapelside Primary School in nearby Airdrie, also spoke at the service.

She said: "Alesha was a bright and bubbly little girl, she always came into class with that big beautiful smile of hers.

"It was an absolute pleasure to have taught Alesha. I'm so grateful to have known this special little girl."

Head teacher Wendy Davie said: "May your smile shine brightly wherever you are, you will always be remembered as our Chapelside star."

Robert MacPhail's girlfriend Toni McLachlan also gave a tribute, saying: "Sleep tight, little angel."

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Image copyright PA

Alesha, who was from Airdrie, had been staying at her grandmother's house on Bute when she was reported missing.

She was a few days into a three-week summer break on the island in the Firth of Clyde, west of Glasgow.

Image caption Floral tributes were laid for Alesha's funeral in Coatbridge

The service was led by funeral director Fraser MacGregor, who said Alesha was an amazing and talented little girl and the "best big sister, best daughter, best granddaughter and friend that anyone could have asked for".

He said that Alesha will always be remembered as a "very loving girl, friendly, good natured and full of love" who enjoyed everything from doing gymnastics and riding her bike to baking cakes, listening to music and watching Peppa Pig.

Mr MacGregor also said that Alesha was fascinated by bubbles and had always wanted a bubble party on her birthday.

As music played at the end of the service a bubble machine sent bubbles drifting above the mourners' heads.

A candlelit vigil for Alesha was held in Rothesay on Bute earlier this month and an online fundraiser set up to support relatives reached almost £13,000.

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