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Alesha killer's sentence appeal 'adds salt to the wound'

CJ MacPhail said Aaron Campbell's appeal is 'bringing everything back up' for Alesha's family.

The uncle of murdered Alesha MacPhail has said her killer has "added salt to the wound" by appealing his sentence.

Aaron Campbell was ordered to serve at least 27 years of a life sentence for killing the six-year-old on the Isle of Bute on July 2 last year.

On Tuesday, the 17-year-old was granted permission to have his appeal heard by three judges in Edinburgh later this year.

Speaking to STV News, CJ MacPhail questioned the court's decision.

'Why has he been granted an appeal? They had the chance to turn around and say 'look we're not giving you an appeal'.'
CJ MacPhail

He said: "Why has he been granted an appeal? They had the chance to turn around and say 'look we're not giving you an appeal'.

"You dragged a family through a court case where they had to see a family member in the most horrific states, hear about the most cruel and violent things you did to them and then stood up there and smirked at us from the box.

Appeal: Aaron Campbell.
Appeal: Aaron Campbell.

"You also went as far as to give your own statement and tried to fabricate it, trying to get out of it.

"And then when you got caught at the end, you turn around and go 'oh well, yeah, I've been caught, I've done it and now I'm going to add a little bit more salt to the wound by trying to appeal it'."

'He would have got a maximum of 35 if he had been charged as an adult. If he gets even more off then what's even the point?'
CJ MacPhail

Mr MacPhail, who is the brother of Alesha's father Robert, added: "I've spoken to many people who told me his appeal wouldn't get through - here we are only a month or so after he's made the appeal and he's been granted it.

"So now it'll be determined whether or not he will actually get a lesser sentence which he's already got because he only got 27 years, he hasn't been charged as an adult.

Murdered: Alesha MacPhail.
Murdered: Alesha MacPhail.

"He would have got a maximum of 35 if he had been charged as an adult.

"If he gets even more off then what's the point?

"Alesha didn't get to live even a quarter of her life, he won't even see half of his life in prison if he was given the full sentence."

'It's just the same pain but it's being continually dragged out. We want to move on and he's just bringing it back up.'
CJ MacPhail

He also told how the appeal is "bringing everything back up" for his family who just want to move on.

He said: "It's just the same pain but it's being continually dragged out.

"We want to move on and he's just bringing it back up.

"We're almost a year down the line and it's going to be over a year come August when his appeal is.

"For a family to lose someone and then have to go through it for a year after, I'm not saying it would have got any easier but it's now time to find normality in our lives.

"For us to be at peace and to find the way going forward in which Alesha would have wanted."

Mr MacPhail has called for changes to the law so children accused of the most serious crimes - such as rape and murder - can be tried as adults in court.

https://www.change.org/p/scottish-goverment-over-16-s-to-be-able-to-receive-full-punishment-sentencing-as-adults?use_react=false | default

David McKie, of Levy & McRae, said: "Aaron Campbell is not appealing the verdict, one of guilt for murder.

"What he is appealing is the length of period he is to stay in prison and that is a legal right.

"It's going to be extremely difficult for the family but it's his legal right to assess whether or not that period of 27 years was too much.

"He's taking a bit of a risk because the appeal court might actually increase the sentence."

https://stv.tv/news/west-central/1436483-timeline-the-murder-of-six-year-old-alesha-macphail/ | default

Campbell abducted and raped Alesha, before murdering her and dumping her body in woodland.

He denied the charges throughout a two-week trial, but admitted the offence during his sentencing hearing.

Judge Lord Matthews gave him a mandatory life sentence and ordered him to spend at least 27 years behind bars.

A spokesman from the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service confirmed that Campbell has been granted an appeal, which will be heard by three judges in Edinburgh later this year on August 7.

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