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Aaron Campbell: My jail term for murdering Alesha is too long

The killer described his sentence as 'extraordinarily' long and a 'miscarriage of justice'.

Aaron Campbell: The 17-year-old denied the charges.
Aaron Campbell: The 17-year-old denied the charges.

The teenager who murdered six-year-old Alesha MacPhail has claimed his 27-year jail term is "extraordinarily" long.

Aaron Campbell was 16 when he killed the child while she visited her dad and grandparents during a holiday on the Isle of Bute in July 2018.

The now 17-year-old is appealing the length of his sentence, which means he won't be released before he's 43.

At the High Court in Edinburgh on Wednesday, Campbell's lawyer, Brian McConnachie, said the killer's jail term is "extraordinarily" long and a "miscarriage of justice".

He added that by serving his full sentence, Campbell won't be able to properly mature in jail.

Death: Alesha was snatched from her bed.
Death: Alesha was snatched from her bed.

He said: "The punishment part handed down was excessive and amounts to a miscarriage of justice.

"The transition from youth to a middle aged man is an extraordinary long period of time that doesn't allow for the process of maturation and the process of healthy adult development." 

He continued: "Reports from experts who carried out psychological assessments are incredibly negative and pessimistic and understandable but this is a snapshot in time of the person we have today. If it remains that position the appellant stays where he is.

"To wait until he is 43 years of age before this issue is considered by the parole board is an extraordinary length of time." 

Campbell denied the charges throughout a two-week trial earlier this year but admitted the offence during his sentencing in March.

He is currently behind bars at Polmont Young Offenders Institution in Falkirk.

Mr McConnachie added: "This is clearly an appalling and heinous crime.

"The outcome of this appeal will not determine when or indeed if the appellant is ever released.

"Ultimately that question depends on the parole board. I and the appellant accept that day may never come."

Alesha's mum, Georgina Lochrane, described Campbell's appeal as a "joke".

Murdered: Alesha MacPhail was also raped.
Murdered: Alesha MacPhail was also raped.

Armed with a knife, "cold-blooded" Campbell snatched Alesha out of her bed before carrying her to the former Kyles Hydropathic Hotel on the island where he raped and murdered her on July 2 last year.

He told the child he was a friend of her dad's and was going to take her home, before raping and murdering her.

Campbell then threw his clothing into the sea before going back to the scene to retrieve his phone.

During the sentencing, Lord Matthews told how he was "shocked" when he read the "cold-blooded and horrific" account given by the killer to a psychologist after his conviction.

Alesha's body was found in a wooded area of the island a few hours after her family reported her missing.

Campbell previously claimed Alesha's dad's girlfriend, Toni McLachlan, had "murder on her mind", blaming her for the killing.

However, it was reaffirmed during the sentencing hearing that Ms McLachlan had nothing to do with it.

A decision on Campbell's appeal will be issued in writing.

https://stv.tv/news/west-central/1439805-alesha-macphail-s-killer-to-appeal-27-year-sentence/ | default

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