Alesha MacPhail killer has sentence reduced by three years

Aaron Campbell
Image caption Aaron Campbell was 16 when he killed Alesha MacPhail

The teenager who abducted, raped and murdered Alesha MacPhail has had his 27-year minimum sentence reduced.

Aaron Campbell was 16 when he was sentenced to life for killing the six-year-old on the Isle of Bute.

In August, his counsel, Brian McConnachie QC, told the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh that the term was excessive in light of his age.

Three judges ruled on Tuesday his sentence should be reduced by three years.

Campbell is still serving the longest terms of detention ever imposed on a juvenile offender in Scotland.

The Scottish Courts confirmed Jodi Jones killer Luke Mitchell received the longest punishment (20 years) for anyone under 18, prior to the sentencing of Campbell.

Mr McConnachie told the three judges at the start of the appeal: “It was clearly an appalling and heinous crime.

“The outcome of this appeal will not determine when, or indeed if, the appellant is allowed release.”

Image caption Alesha was on a family holiday when she was taken from her bed by Campbell before being murdered

Alesha, from Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, was only a few days into a family holiday in Rothesay when Campbell took her from her bed in the middle of the night on 2 July last year.

The child’s body was found in the grounds of a former hotel the following morning.

A post-mortem examination later revealed she had suffered 117 injuries.

During his nine-day trial in February, Campbell lodged a special defence naming the 18-year-old girlfriend of Alesha’s father as the killer.

He also took the stand and told the jury his DNA must have been planted at the crime scene.

However, before sentencing it emerged that he had confessed to the killing.

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