THE teenage boy who abducted, raped and murdered six-year-old Alesha MacPhail on the Isle of Bute in Scotland has been publicly named as Aaron Thomas Campbell.
Campbell, 16, had been granted statutory anonymity as he was under the age of 18 at the time of the brutal slaying last July.
However, following his conviction at the High Court in Glasgow on Thursday for abducting, sexually assaulting and killing the schoolgirl, Judge Lord Matthews ruled it was in the public interest to lift the ban on naming the killer.
The twisted teen snatched Alesha from her bed at knifepoint in the early hours of July 2, 2018 as she visited her father and grandparents in Rothesay, Bute from her home in Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, where she lived with her mother.
Campbell carried the 3ft 9in youngster to woodland in the grounds of a disused hotel where he brutally raped and killed her, causing "catastrophic" injuries before dumping her body in woodland on the island.
Alesha, a "smiley" little girl who was adored by her family, was discovered face-down and naked at the site by a member of the public later that morning.
The court heard she had 117 separate injuries, with a post-mortem finding she died from "pressure to the neck and face".
Fibre from Campbell's boxer shorts was found on Alesha's underwear, with a pathologist telling the jury at the High Court in Glasgow he had never seen anything like the injuries inflicted on her private parts.
Campbell was living on Bute with his mother and younger sister at the time of his sickening crime. His father works offshore in the oil industry.
Jeanette Campbell, his mother, told jurors that the family had moved to the Scottish isle in 2006.
She described her son as being very clever at school, well-liked with lots of friends, and physically fit having been a frequent user of gym equipment and a 'parkour' enthusiast.
Mrs Campbell also told of how he smoked cannabis and would use his pocket money to buy it from Alesha's father Robert MacPhail.
On the night of the murder, he held a party with school friends at the family home to celebrate the end of exams.
It was after his friends went home that he went to Alesha's grandparents' house and abducted her at knifepoint.
The killer had attempted to blame the atrocity on Toni McLachlan, the girlfriend of Robert MacPhail.
As part of his defence, he said he had been in a sexual relationship with Ms McLachlan and claimed he had sex with her the night Alesha went missing. He claimed she then took a condom and "planted" his DNA at the scene of the murder.
The jury rejected this defence, siding instead with CCTV footage that placed him at the scene of the attack and the overwhelming DNA evidence against him.
Addressing the killer, the judge, Lord Matthews, said he had committed “some of the wickedest, most evil crimes this court has ever heard in its long history of dealing with depravity."
In a statement to the court, Alesha's mother Georgina Lochrane said she could not express how devastated she was to have lost her "beautiful, happy, smiley wee girl."
She said: "I am glad the boy who did this has finally been brought to justice and that he will not be able to inflict the pain on another family that he has done to mine.
"Alesha, I love you so much, my wee pal. I will miss you forever."
Alesha's father Robert MacPhail also released a statement, saying: "We can’t believe that we will never see our wee angel Alesha again. We miss her so much.
"We hope that the boy who took her from us is jailed for a long time because of what he has done to our family.
"Alesha may be gone from our lives but she will always be in our hearts."
Aaron Campbell will be sentenced on March 21.