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Alesha MacPhail: Boy to stand trial over 'murder and rape'

The six-year-old, who was staying with her dad and grandparents, was found dead in Rothesay.

Alesha MacPhail: Tributes have been paid.
Alesha MacPhail: Tributes have been paid.

A 16-year-old boy is to stand trial over the alleged rape and murder of six-year-old Alesha MacPhail.

Alesha, from Airdrie in North Lanarkshire, was reported missing on Monday, July 2, while staying with her father and grandparents in Rothesay on Bute.

Her body was found less than three hours later in woods.

Death: Roads were cordoned off.
Death: Roads were cordoned off. PA

The teenager, of the Isle of Bute, who cannot be named because of his age, appeared at Greenock Sheriff Court for a second time on Friday.

He made no plea and has been fully committed and remanded in custody.

A vigil is to be held in Alesha's memory on Friday night. Lanterns and balloons will be released at West End Park in Airdrie.

Tributes: Alesha was six years old.
Tributes: Alesha was six years old. Facebook

Several teams will also take part in the football match at Airdrie's Penny Cars stadium on August 4 to raise funds to help Alesha's family.

People gathered to light candles for the six-year-old in Rothesay's Guildford Square last week.

A crowdfunder to assist Alesha's family with costs has raised more than £10,000 after starting with a target of £5000.

Detective Superintendent Stuart Houston said Alesha's family had shown "incredible bravery through what has been an unimaginable ordeal" following her death last week.

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