Alesha MacPhail's teenage killer attended a school assembly on child abduction three years before he snatched the six-year-old from her bed and murdered her

  • Aaron Campbell abused little Alesha MacPhail before killing her on Bute 
  • A judge said his crimes were the 'wickedest most evil' he had ever seen
  • Campbell was given a school assembly on child abduction three years before  
  • Sandra Brown has told of her horror at finding out he was in the audience when she spoke to pupils about the 1957 disappearance of Moira Anderson

Alesha MacPhail's evil killer was given a school assembly on child abduction just three years before he raped and murdered the six-year-old.

Aaron Campbell was among the pupils who listened to the talk which discussed the impact the loss of a child can have on parents and families.

Just three years later, Campbell raped and murdered little Alesha after taking her from her bed just a few days after she arrived on the Isle of Bute last July. He then left her body on a patch of wasteland. 

Charity founder Sandra Brown has told of her horror at finding out Campbell was in the audience when she spoke to pupils on Bute. 

Aaron Campbell was among the pupils sat in an assembly as they were taught about the impact the loss of a child can have
Campbell raped and murdered little Alesha after taking her from her bed just a few days after she arrived on the Isle of Bute last July. He then left her body on a patch of wasteland

Alesha MacPhail's evil killer was given a school assembly on child abduction just three years before he raped and murdered the six-year-old. Aaron Campbell was among the pupils sat in an assembly as they were taught about the impact the loss of a child can have 

'I was shocked last year when I discovered that in the hall that day was Aaron ­Campbell, who would only have been around 13.

'How anyone so young could hear about the heartbreak sexual ­predators can cause and the devastation for families left without their child then go out and do what he did is utterly incomprehensible,' she told The Daily Record

Ms Brown founded the Moira Anderson Foundation to help families affected by child sexual abuse because of the impact Moira’s disappearance had on her north Lanarkshire community following her disappearance in 1957. 

Charity founder Sandra Brown has told of her horror at finding out Campbell was in the audience when she spoke to pupils on Bute

Charity founder Sandra Brown has told of her horror at finding out Campbell was in the audience when she spoke to pupils on Bute

In 2015, Ms Brown told an assembly of all pupils at Rothesay Academy, on the Isle of Bute, about her memories of Moira’s ­disappearance and how it scarred her community. 

'I wanted to ensure all the children present heard about the services we provide and I also described to them the dreadful impact on a community when a child disappears.

'Moira's parents, I told them, were the ones who served the life sentence and not my father who was ­responsible for her abduction, and, I believe, her murder.

'I can still feel the shocked silence in that hall. But it was my turn to be shocked when I learned that Campbell had been there,' she added.

In September, the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh cut Campbell's 27-year minimum term to 24 years after finding it was 'excessive' for his age. Campbell was 16 when he carried out the shocking crime. He is now 17.     

Alesha, from Airdrie, Lanarkshire, was reported missing while visiting her grandparents on the island on July 2 last year.

Alesha's parents Georgina Lochrane and Robert MacPhail pictured at the time of the trial
Alesha's parents Georgina Lochrane and Robert MacPhail pictured at the time of the trial

The Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh cut Campbell's 27-year minimum term to 24 years after finding it was 'excessive' for his age. Campbell was 16 when he carried out the shocking crime. He is now 17 

She was taken from her bed to nearby woodland after falling asleep watching Peppa Pig and subjected to harrowing abuse.

Her naked remains were found two hours later in the grounds of the former Kyles Hydropathic Hotel.

An autopsy found that Alesha had suffered 117 injuries and died from compression.

Jailing Campbell earlier this year, Judge Lord Williams told him: 'You committed some of the wickedest most evil crimes this court has ever seen.'

Legal sources described him as a 'serial killer who was caught on his first killing'.

Alesha was staying with her family on Bute during the summer holidays when she was killed

The little girl's violent murder shocked the Isle of Bute where she had been staying at the time

The little girl's violent murder shocked the Isle of Bute where she had been staying at the time

Killer's obsession with paedophilia and necrophilia continued after murder, court told

The appeal hearing was told disturbing details about Campbell's continued fascination with paedophilia and necrophilia.

Information published in the judgement included details from an interview between Campbell and psychologist Dr Macpherson.

It said: 'He reported that he continued to experience thoughts of killing and having sex with children and having sex with dead bodies.

'He wished to point out that he was not fantasising about this, but 'acting on his thoughts'.'

Talking about his time in the house where Alesha was staying, he said:  'All I thought about was killing her once I saw her.'

The psychologist stated: 'He appeared irritated by the medical evidence that the child was alive at the time of the sexual assault as this would not have fulfilled his desire for necrophilia.'

The teenager was a heavy drinker and cannabis user who was addicted to violent computer games and obsessed with the number of followers on his YouTube channel.

In September, three judges ruled his sentence should be reduced to 24 years on account of his age at the time of the murder.

The ruling from Lord Drummond Young, Lord Menzies and Lord Justice Clerk said: 'Against the cases to which we have made reference, a punishment part in excess of 20 years was plainly merited.

'We have concluded that a punishment part of 24 years would be appropriate to reflect the appellant's youth.

'We will accordingly allow the appeal to the extent of substituting that period for the sentence imposed.'

The appeal judges added: 'As with all punishment parts, this is not an indication of the date when the appellant will be released.

'It specifies rather the period which must pass before the appellant may even apply for parole.

'As the trial judge had observed ... 'whether (the appellant) will ever be released will be for others to determine but as matters stand a lot of work will have to be done to change (the appellant) before that could be considered - it may even be impossible'.'

A knife, which was found on the shoreline opposite the house where Alesha was staying

A knife, which was found on the shoreline opposite the house where Alesha was staying

Aaron Campbell's sentencing hearing was one of the first to be televised 

The appeal was first heard in August at the Criminal Appeal Court in Edinburgh, with Alesha's parents Robert MacPhail and Georgina Lochrane in the gallery.

Campbell was linked into the courtroom via video, showing no emotion during the hearing.

During the nine-day trial in March, Campbell tried to convince the jury he had sex with Toni McLachlan, the girlfriend of Mr MacPhail, on the night of the murder.

He later confessed the crime to those assessing him ahead of the sentencing, saying he was 'quite satisfied by the murder'.

Alesha, from Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, had been staying with her family on Bute during the summer holidays.

Alesha MacPhail's teenage killer attended a school assembly on child abduction

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