Alesha MacPhail: Teenager charged with rape and murder of 6-year-old on Isle of Bute

Six-year-old went missing a few days into a three-week break visiting family

Friday 06 July 2018 21:45 BST
16-year-old arrested for rape and murder of Alesha MacPhail

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


A teenager has appeared in court after being charged with the rape and murder of six-year-old Alesha MacPhail.

The girl was found dead on the Isle of Bute hours after she was reported missing while on a three-week visit to see family in the area.

A murder probe was launched following the results of a post-mortem examination.

The 16-year-old male, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was arrested two days after the six-year-old was discovered in woodland near her grandparents' home.

He appeared in front of Sheriff McIntyre in Greenock charged with murder and an offence under section 18 of the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009, which covers the rape of a young child.

The teenager arrived in a security van that reversed in the back door and was remanded in custody ahead of a second court appearance later in July.

He made no plea during a private appearance at Greenock Sheriff Court, the Crown Office said.

Detective Superintendent Stuart Houston said Alesha's family had shown "incredible bravery through what has been an unimaginable ordeal", and he thanked local people on Bute for their assistance in the investigation.

Agencies contributed to this report

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