Author Topic: Tragic Alesha, six, was 'raped and murdered before her body was dumped in ....  (Read 2 times)

La Bamba

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Tragic Alesha, six, was 'raped and murdered before her body was dumped in woodland on the Isle of Bute' - as family friend, 16, appears in court over her killing

    Boy, 16, is understood to have been known to victim Alesha MacPhail's family
    Little girl's body found in woodland in grounds of abandoned hotel on Monday
    Teenager was arrested on suspicion of murder before being charged yesterday
    Appeared at Greenock Sheriff Court today after being kept in custody overnight
    Prosecutors today revealed he has been charged with both rape and murder

By Claire Duffin For The Daily Mail and Mark Duell for MailOnline

Published: 13:23, 6 July 2018

A  teenager has appeared in court charged with the rape and murder of six-year-old Alesha MacPhail who was found dead on the Isle of Bute.  The 16-year-old, who cannot be named because of his age, is understood to have been known to victim Alesha's family.  The little girl's body was found in woodland in the grounds of an abandoned hotel on Monday.  The teenager appeared at Greenock Sheriff Court today after being kept in custody overnight.  The hearing was private, but the boy is understood to have made no plea and was remanded in custody ahead of an expected second court appearance next week.  The charges, released for the first time today, mean prosecutors believe Alesha was raped before she was killed.  Yesterday, Detective Superintendent Stuart Houston paid tribute to Alesha's family and thanked the community of Bute for their assistance with the 'challenging' inquiry.  'I'd like to take this opportunity to personally thank Alesha's family who have shown incredible bravery through what has been an unimaginable ordeal during these past few days,' he said.

'I'd also like to thank local people for all their support and assistance during this major investigation on the island.  The response to our appeals was significant both from those living here and the wider community of Scotland.'

Alesha's body was found by a member of the public at 9am on Monday morning. She had been reported missing just hours earlier when her family found she was not in her bed at 6.25am.  Alesha had been staying with her paternal grandparents Calum MacPhail, 49, and Angela King, 46, and father Robert MacPhail, 25, at a seafront flat near Rothesay on the Isle of Bute.  The six-year-old lived in Airdrie, Lanarkshire, with her mother, who is estranged from Mr MacPhail, but spent holidays and weekends with her father on Bute.  Her murder has rocked the community, which is home to just 6,500 people. It is the biggest investigation ever undertaken by police on the island, which is 15 miles long and three miles wide.  Investigations continued at the seafront flat yesterday, and on the beach in front the property, where officers could be seen combing the sand with sticks.  Det Supt Houston added: 'Officers and staff from across Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority have been involved in what has been a difficult and challenging investigation during which they have worked tirelessly to bring us to where we are today.  Incidents such as this are extremely rare and, while the police investigation will continue, I hope that today's announcement brings some reassurance to everyone in the local community.  Recent events will have shocked communities across Scotland, no more so than on Bute and in Airdrie. Argyll and Bute and North Lanarkshire councils have services available for those who may have been affected.'