Glasgow & West Scotland

Alesha MacPhail killer Aaron Campbell lodges appeal against sentence

Aaron Campbell Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Campbell was arrested on 4 July last year, two days after the murder

The teenager who abducted, raped and murdered Alesha MacPhail has lodged an appeal against his sentence.

Aaron Campbell was ordered to serve a minimum of 27 years of a life sentence for killing the six-year-old on the Isle of Bute on 2 July last year.

During his trial, Campbell denied ever meeting Alesha but, before he was sentenced, it emerged he had confessed.

The judge, Lord Matthews, described him as a "cold, callous, calculating, remorseless and dangerous individual".

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service confirmed Campbell had lodged a notice of appeal against his sentence.

Alesha, from Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, was only a few days into her summer holiday when she was lifted from her bed in the middle of the night.

Her body was found in the grounds of a former hotel the following morning.

A post-mortem examination later revealed she had been carried to her death and suffered 117 injuries.

Image caption Campbell told a psychologist how Alesha woke after he had carried her from her room

During his nine-day trial in February, Campbell lodged a special defence naming the 18-year-old girlfriend of Alesha's father as the killer.

He also took the stand and told the jury his DNA must have been planted at the crime scene.

But the prosecution case, built on compelling forensic evidence and CCTV provided by Campbell's mother, was overwhelming.

The jury at the High Court in Glasgow took just three hours to unanimously convict the schoolboy.

When he returned to the dock to be sentenced last month, the court heard Campbell had finally admitted the crime.

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Media captionAlesha MacPhail murder: Lord Matthews imposes life sentence

Lord Matthews revealed in the 12 months prior to the murder, the teenager thought about "doing something excessive" including rape.

And when he set eyes on the child sleeping in her grandparents' flat on Ardbeg Road, Rothesay, he saw it as a "moment of opportunity".

Campbell told the psychologist: "At any other time in life, murder wouldn't have been the conclusion. If I was a year younger I don't think I would have done it.

"All I thought about was killing her once I saw her."

It was disclosed that he told the psychologist he was "quite satisfied with the murder".

'Revulsion and disbelief'

Lord Matthews said the crime had caused "revulsion and disbelief."

He also warned Campbell that he may never be freed.

The judge said: "Whether you will ever be released will be for others to determine, but as matters stand a lot of work will have to be done to change you before that could be considered.

"It may even be impossible."

Throughout his trial, Campbell could not be named as he was under the age of 18.

After his conviction media outlets, including the BBC, launched a successful legal bid to reverse the court order which had protected his identity.

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