Glasgow & West Scotland

Teenage boy denies Alesha rape and murder

Alesha MacPhail Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Alesha MacPhail died just days into her school holidays in July

A 16-year-old boy is to stand trial charged with abducting, raping and murdering six-year-old Alesha MacPhail on the Isle of Bute.

The teenager - who cannot be named for legal reasons - made his first public appearance in court on Monday.

His QC Brian McConnachie pled not guilty on his behalf and he will stand trial in February.

Alesha's mother was given special permission to be present in court to see the proceedings.

Prosecutors allege the accused boy was armed with a knife when he took Alesha from her bed at a house in Ardbeg Road in Rothesay in July.

It is claimed he then carried the schoolgirl to the site of the former Kyles Hydropathic Hotel on the island.

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Alesha MacPhail's mother was allowed to watch proceedings in court

The indictment at the High Court in Glasgow stated he took off Alesha's clothes, shook her violently before placing his hands over her nose, mouth and around her neck.

'Disposing of clothes'

The boy is said to have "applied pressure" to her face, inflicted injuries by "means unknown", with prosecutors alleging he went on to rape and murder Alesha.

The teenager then faces a separate charge of attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

It is alleged he went to another house in Ardbeg Road before disposing of the clothes he had worn and then taking a shower to remove blood from his body.

This was said to have been done in a bid to "destroy or conceal evidence".

Image caption Police investigated after the body of the six-year-old was discovered on the Isle of Bute

QC Brian McConnachie entered a not guilty plea on the 16-year-old's behalf.

The advocate said: "He pleads not guilty to both charges on the indictment."

Both Mr McConnachie and prosecutor Iain McSporran QC told the court they were ready for a trial to be set.

Mr McSporran said: "Trial is expected to last 10 days"

Judge Lady Rae then fixed a trial to begin next February.

Alesha's mother Georgina Lochrane, from Airdrie, who is a witness in the case, was given special permission by Lady Rae to be present in court to see the proceedings against the teenager accused of murdering her daughter.

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