THE Scottish teenager convicted of abducting, raping and murdering six-year-old Alesha MacPhail last summer has been granted leave to appeal against his life sentence.
Aaron Campbell, 17, was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 27 years in March over the appalling crime on the Isle of Bute in July 2018.
Campbell, who was aged 16 at the time of the murder, denied all the charges against him during his two-week trial but later admitted to his crimes when interviewed for psychological reports prepared before his sentencing.
The killer told his assessors that he almost burst out laughing during his trial and was described as a "cold, callous, calculating, remorseless and dangerous individual" during his sentencing by Lord Matthews.
The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) confirmed on Tuesday that his appeal would be heard later this summer.
Alesha, from Airdrie in North Lanarkshire, had arrived on the island a few days earlier for a three-week summer break with her father and his parents.
The pathologist who examined the youngster's body said she had sustained dozens of "catastrophic" injuries, some of which he concluded had been inflicted before she was smothered to death in a lonely woodland clearing.
Campbell's appeal will be heard by three judges in Edinburgh on August 7, according to the SCTS.