Teen denies rape and murder of Alesha MacPhail, 6, as trial begins

A boy accused of abducting, raping and murdering a six year-old girl is blaming a young woman for the crime, it has emerged.

The 16 year-old today went on trial charged with killing Alesha MacPhail on the Isle of Bute in July last year.

The teenager – who cannot be named for legal reason – has pled not guilty at the High Court in Glasgow .

His legal team – lead by QC Brian McConnachie – have lodged a special defence on his behalf.

It is claimed that the crime was committed not by him, but by a Toni Louise McLachlan.

Prosecutors allege the boy was armed with a knife when he took Alesha from her bed at a house in Ardbeg Road in Rothesay, Bute.



Schoolgirl Alesha MacPhail died on the Isle of Bute earlier this year

 

It is claimed the boy then carried the schoolgirl to the site of the former Kyles Hydropathic Hotel on the island.

The indictment states he took off Alesha’s clothes, shook her violently before placing his hands over her nose, mouth and around her neck.

The boy is said to have “applied pressure” to her face, inflicted injuries by “means unknown” with prosecutors alleging he went on to rape and murder Alesha.


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The teenager then faces a separate charge of attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

It is alleged he went to another house in Ardbeg Road before disposing of the clothes he had worn and then taking a shower to remove blood from his body.

This is said to have been done in a bid to “destroy or conceal evidence”.



Alesha’s gran Angela King sent the initial call for help to find her granddaughter

No evidence was today/yesterday heard.

Prosecutor Iain McSporran QC instead read out two joint minutes – evidence agreed between the Crown and the body’s lawyers.

Jurors were told Alesha’s naked body was found at 8.54am on July 2 in the grounds of the former Kyles Hydropathic Hotel.

 

She had been found by a man there.

The child was pronounced dead around 30 minutes later at 9.23am.

Mr McSporran: “She had been murdered. Following a post mortem examination of her remains, the cause of death was established as ‘pressure to neck and face’.”

The court also heard it was Alesha’s gran Angela King who had reported the girl missing at 6.23am on July 2.

Lord Matthews told jurors the case is likely to “arouse strong emotion” but that they were to adopt a “professional detachment” to the evidence.

The trial continues.

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