16-year-old charged with rape and murder of 6-year-old Alesha Macphail to go on trial next year

The 16-year-old boy denies abducting six-year-old Alesha Macphail from her bed at knife-point before raping and murdering her on the Isle of Bute.


                            16-year-old charged with rape and murder of 6-year-old Alesha Macphail to go on trial next year

The teenager who has been charged with the rape and murder of six-year-old Alesha MacPhail is due to go on trial next year.

The boy, 16, has denied abducting, raping and then murdering the child on the Scottish island of Bute. According to reports, the six-year-old was reported missing in the early hours of July 2 when she was at the start of a three-week break visiting family on the island in the Firth of Clyde, west of Glasgow. Authorities discovered her body a couple of hours after she went missing, Daily Mail reports.

The pink coffin during the funeral of six-year-old Alesha MacPhail at the Coats Funeral Home on July 21, 2018 in Coatbridge, Scotland. Alesha MacPhail’s body was found on the Isle of Bute earlier this month. (Getty Images)
The pink coffin during the funeral of six-year-old Alesha MacPhail at the Coats Funeral Home on July 21, 2018 in Coatbridge, Scotland. Alesha MacPhail’s body was found on the Isle of Bute earlier this month. (Getty Images)

According to prosecutors, the teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was armed with a knife when he took Alesha from her bed at a residence in Rothesay, Bute. The boy then allegedly carried the schoolgirl to the site of the former Hydropathic Hotel on the island, took off her clothes, shook her violently, and placed his hands over her nose, mouth, and around her neck, per the indictment. That said, the teenager faces a separate charge of trying to defeat the ends of justice after he went to another house to dispose of his clothes and take a shower to get rid of the blood on his body.

The 16-year-old, who was arrested after a major investigation by Scotland police, appeared at the High Court in Glasgow on December 10 and denied charges of rape and murder.

The start of his trial, which is expected to last at least two weeks, was set by Judge Lady Rae on February 4 next year. Brian McConnachie QC, defending, told the court: "He pleads not guilty to both charges on this indictment."

A 16-year-old boy is charged with the rape and murder of six-year-old Alesha MacPhail (Getty Images)
A 16-year-old boy is charged with the rape and murder of six-year-old Alesha MacPhail (Getty Images)

At the time of her death, Alesha had just finished P2 while studying at the Chapelside Primary School in Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, and was visiting her father Rober MacPhail and his family in Rothesay on Bute.

Calum MacPhail, her uncle, spoke at her funeral in July. "She had a great amount of love for absolutely everyone. She was the brightest thing," he said.

Mother Georgina Lochrane and her partner (R) leave the funeral of Alesha MacPhail at the Coats Funeral Home on July 21, 2018 in Coatbridge, Scotland. (Getty Images)
Mother Georgina Lochrane and her partner (R) leave the funeral of Alesha MacPhail at the Coats Funeral Home on July 21, 2018 in Coatbridge, Scotland. (Getty Images)