top of page



  • Facebook Clean Grey
  • Twitter Clean Grey
  • Instagram Clean Grey

Alesha MacPhail murder: Judge lifts ban on naming killer Aaron Campbell

The identity of the teenage boy who killed six-year-old Alesha MacPhail has been revealed.

The judge who presided over the schoolgirl's murder trial has lifted a ban on naming 16-year-old Aaron Campbell, BBC reported.

Media outlets, including the BBC, made a case for reversing the court order which protects his identity.

Campbell, who abducted, raped and murdered Alesha, could not be named any reports because he is under 18.

He is facing a life sentence after being found guilty of killing Alesha, who went missing while on a visit to her grandparents on the Isle of Bute on 2 July last year.

Judge Lord Matthews told him he had committed some of the "wickedest, most evil crimes this court has ever heard".

Campbell took Alesha from the bed where she was sleeping and inflicted "catastrophic" injuries before dumping her naked body in woodland.

Alesha had suffered 117 injuries and died from significant pressure being applied to her face and neck.

Why can't the media name the accused?

Scroll down for video

It is illegal in Scotland to publish the name, address, school or any other information which could identify anyone under the age of 18 who is the accused, victim or witness in a criminal case

This law applies to social media as well as to websites, newspapers and TV and radio programmes.

Any violation is considered a serious contempt of court and could result in a fine or jail term.

The order can only be lifted by a judge.

However, the name of victims who have died can be published - so the BBC and other outlets are able to identify Alesha MacPhail.

Media law lecturer Frank Shennan told BBC's Good Morning Scotland programme there had been a sense of anger at the killer being "protected".

He said: "The reason for not naming under-18s is to protect what is seen as vulnerable people.

"And the reason for applying to have the ban lifted is a sense of outrage that somebody should be able to hide behind this protection when they have been found guilty of committing such a shocking crime.

"Ironically until three years ago, we could have named him because the rule applied to under 16s only and it was changed."

On Thursday a jury at the High Court in Glasgow took three hours to find Campbell guilty unanimously, following a nine-day trial.

The killer showed no emotion as the verdict was read out.

Prosecutor Iain McSporran QC, told the court the loss of a child would be hard to bear in any circumstance, but the "bestial manner" in which Alesha was murdered was "simply unfathomable".

In a witness impact statement, Alesha's mother Georgina Lochrane said her world had been ripped from her.

She added that she "had nightmares" about what happened to her daughter.

Alesha's body was found in the grounds of a former hotel

In a statement released after the verdict, Ms Lochrane, said: "Words cannot express just how devastated I am to have lost my beautiful, happy, smiley wee girl.

"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."

Alesha's father Robert MacPhail said day-to-day life was "almost impossible".

The six-year-old was staying at her grandparents' house before she disappeared

In a statement, 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."

The boy will be sentenced on March 21 and could face detention without limit of time.

Culled from BBC

My view: Beyond evil, I don't get why he raped and brutally killed the 6-year-old girl. The killer, 16, was caught by his mother's CCTV. The law should stop protecting young killers, it should expose them to stop copycats.

bottom of page