Alesha MacPhail: Six-year-old girl suffered 117 'catastrophic' injuries, murder trial told

In day of distressing evidence, accused's mother also reveals she called police after home CCTV showed son leaving house in dead of night

Funeral held for 'special little girl' Alesha MacPhail

Schoolgirl Alesha MacPhail suffered 117 catastrophic injuries before being smothered to death, her murder trial has been told.

The six-year-old’s genitals were so damaged that pathologist John Williams told jurors on Thursday he had never seen anything like it before.

Her body was found in a wooded area on the Isle of Bute, where she lived, on 2 July last year.

A 16-year old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denies abducting the youngster from the island home she shared with her dad and grandparents, raping and murdering her, and attempting to hide evidence.

Dr Williams said the girl had been smothered to death, and that cause of death was "significant and forceful pressure to her neck and face".

Most of the 117 injuries, he said, were caused by the nature of the ground she was lying on.

Answering questions from Iain McSporran QC, advocate depute, he added that those injuries included tears to her private parts consistent with "severe and forceful inflicted penetration”.

The court earlier heard from the accused's mother, who said her son had been drinking with friends at home the day before the killing and went to bed early.

But the following day, after she herself had helped search parties looking for Alesha, she checked CCTV which had been installed at her home because her mother's dementia.

On it, she saw her son leaving the property at 1.54am, wearing all black, and returning at 3.35am no longer wearing his top.

The mother said she told her son about the footage and asked him why he was out, to which he replied: "I don't know, I might have been looking for my phone."

She later phoned police to "eliminate" the teenager from their inquiries, saying: "Obviously I really didn't think he had anything to do with it whatsoever."

The accused has lodged a special defence blaming Toni McLachlan - the girlfriend of Alesha's father Robert MacPhail - for the killing.

During her evidence to the court on Wednesday she insisted she had had nothing to do with the girl's death, telling jurors: "I loved her to pieces."

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It was also revealed on Tuesday that Alesha's dad regularly sold the teenager cannabis.

The trial at the High Court in Glasgow continues.

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