The girlfriend of a boy facing life in prison for raping and murdering six-year-old schoolgirl Alesha MacPhail is ‘standing by him’.
Aaron Campbell took Alesha from the bed where she was sleeping on the Isle of Bute on July 2 last year and inflicted horrific injuries before dumping her body in woodland.
She was discovered hours after being reported missing from the house her father shared with his parents and partner on the island.
Aaron’s mother has revealed that despite her son’s horrific crimes, his girlfriend has not left him.
Aaron Campbell’s police mugshot after he was taken into custody for murdering Alesha MacPhail (Picture: SWNS)
The 16-year-old could not previously be named because of his age‘The last time I saw him was when I took his suit up for court at the start of February,’ she told the Scottish Sun.
‘He has a girlfriend who is devastated but standing by him.’
Reporting restrictions were lifted today allowing the press to name Campbell, 16, after a judge described him as being behind some of the ‘wickedest, most evil crimes this court has ever heard.’
A jury at the High Court in Glasgow took three hours yesterday to find the teenager unanimously guilty, following a nine-day trial.
Aaron’s mother revealed to the newspaper his reaction to being arrested.
Alesha MacPhail’s body was discovered in woods on the Isle of Bute (Picture: Facebook)
She said: ‘He said to me, “I don’t know why this is happening to me mum. I’m doing really well at school, all my friends, I’m in a relationship, I’m in a happy place at the moment’”.’
She also admitted how she emailed Aaron ‘Merry Christmas’ as she couldn’t bring herself to visit the young offenders’ prison where he was locked up over the holidays.
Lord Matthews said it would be ‘naive’ to think Campbell’s identity is not already known among members of the Bute community and at Polmont Young Offenders Institute.
He said Aaron’s name had been on Facebook, Twitter and available via a Google search since last July.
Allowing Campbell to be named Lord Matthews responded saying: ‘I can’t think of a case in recent times that has attracted such revulsion.’
His lawyers had tried to block him being named with Brian McConnachie QC saying: ‘The fact that things may be on social media is not a reason that the court should overrule the prohibition.’
She had been staying with her grandparents for part of her school holidays (Picture: Facebook)
Aaron Campbell raped and murdered Alesha MacPhail while she was on holiday at her grandparents’He added: ‘It’s little argument to say, well, it’s going to happen (his identification) when he’s 18 anyway.’
Mr McConnachie also said the fact that the boy had incriminated another person was no reason to identify him.
A jury at the High Court in Glasgow took three hours to find Campbell guilty unanimously, following a nine-day trial.
In a statement issued by Police Scotland, Alesha’s family said: ‘We can’t believe that we will never see our wee angel Alesha again. We miss her so much.
‘We hope that the boy who took her from us is jailed for a long time because of what he has done to our family.’
As he was led downstairs before sentencing next month a man in the public gallery shouted ‘evil’ and another said ‘f**king scumbag’.
Her mother, Georgina Lochrane, said: ‘Words cannot express just how devastated I am to have lost my beautiful, happy, smiley wee girl.
A pair of boxer shorts and jogging bottoms, shown to the jury at the High Court in Glasgow (Picture: PA)
A knife that was found on the shore opposite the house where Alesha was staying (Picture: PA)
The accused denied abducting, raping and murdering the child (Picture: PA)
Campbell denied all charges during his trial at the High Court in Glasgow, six months after the child was found dead (Picture: Getty)‘I am glad that the boy who did this has finally been brought to justice and that he will not be able to inflict the pain on another family that he has done to mine.
‘Alesha, I love you so much, my wee pal. I will miss you forever.’
You could be damaging your teeth by using teeth-whitening products, dentists warnPathologist John Williams told the court Alesha had 117 separate injuries, and a post-mortem examination he conducted indicated she had died from ‘significant and forceful pressure to her neck and face’.
He agreed the injuries to her private parts were ‘catastrophic’ – more severe than any he had ever seen before – and were at least partially inflicted while she was still alive.
Giving evidence, the accused said he had ‘never met Alesha MacPhail in person’ and denied abducting, raping and murdering her.
Mum Georgina Lochrane arrives at the High Court in Glasgow (Picture: PA)
Dad Robert MacPhail outside the High Court (Picture: PA)
Robert MacPhail and his girlfriend Toni Louise McLachlan (Picture: Getty)Asked if he ‘brutalised’ her, Campbell said: ‘It’s not me, absolutely not. I would never do something like that.’
Questioned if his ‘DNA is all over her’ because he murdered and raped her, he said: ‘No’.
A forensic scientist told the court DNA matching the accused was found on Alesha’s body and clothes, with some samples at odds of a billion to one of being his.
Campbell had lodged a special defence of incrimination, blaming Toni McLachlan, the partner of Alesha’s father Robert, or Rab, MacPhail for Alesha’s death.
The court heard the couple used to sell cannabis to him.
Giving evidence earlier, Ms McLachlan denied being responsible for the schoolgirl’s death, saying she ‘loved’ her.
Lord Matthews told Campbell: ‘I have no idea what made you do this but I do know that the evidence you did it was overwhelming.’