The Catch-up: 16-year-old who abducted, raped and murdered six-year-old Alesha MacPhail named

What happened?

The 16-year-old who abducted, raped and murdered Alesha MacPhail has been named as Aaron Campbell. His identity could not be reported initially due to his age, but a judge allowed his name to be published today. Campbell snatched the six-year-old from her bedroom and took her to the grounds of a disused hotel where he raped and killed her on the Isle of Bute last July. He was convicted yesterday after a two-week trial, during which he denied having anything to do with the crime and tried to blame Alesha’s father’s girlfriend.

Why has his identity been revealed now?

In the UK it is illegal to reveal the identity of anyone involved in a court case if they are under 18, including the accused. However judges can decide to overturn the ban if they think doing so is in the public interest. Judge Lord Matthews decided to allow the media to identify Campbell due to the seriousness of his crimes. He said: “I can’t think of a case in recent times that has attracted such revulsion.” The accused lawyer argued for his identity to be kept secret, saying there was a ‘price on his head’ and that identifying him could endanger his life.

Campbell is facing a life sentence for the horrific murder of Alesha. As he was convicted yesterday Lord Matthews told Campbell he had committed some of the “wickedest, most evil crimes this court has ever heard”. The teenager took Alesha from the bed where she was sleeping and inflicted horrific injuries on her before dumping her body in woodland. During the trial pathologist John Williams told the court Alesha had 117 separate injuries, including “catastrophic” injuries to her genitals, some of which were inflicted while she was still alive.

Campbell’s mother told the Scottish Daily Mail her son was not depressed, but would ‘get down now and again, like other boys his age. She said: “He had passed some exams – he was especially good at maths and planned to go to university. He wasn’t a violent boy. He was very normal.”

Read more about this story

Mother of Alesha MacPhail’s killer led police to his door (The Guardian)
Alesha MacPhail’s killer named as Aaron Campbell after judge lifts banning order (Sky News)
Teen accused of murdering Alesha MacPhail hid behind ‘preposterous story’ (HuffPost)

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