THE TEENAGER who raped and murdered six-year-old Alesha MacPhail has had his life sentence reduced after a successful appeal.
Aaron Campbell was initially given 27 years in prison, but has managed to cut that down to just 24 years after claiming the original ruling was 'excessive' during an appeal at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh last month.
Alesha's mother has previously described the decision as "laughable".
Explaining their ruling, the judges said: "We have concluded that a punishment part of 24 years would be appropriate to reflect the appellant's youth.
"We will accordingly allow the appeal to the extent of substituting that period for the sentence imposed.
"As with all punishment parts, this is not an indication of the date when the appellant will be released.
"It specifies rather the period which must pass before the appellant may even apply for parole."
Campbell was 16 when he abducted Alesha after sneaking into her grandparents' house on the Isle of Bute in Scotland in July last year.
He carried her to a wooded areas where he proceeded to rape and suffocate her, and then left her body for a search party to find the next morning.
The postmortem found that Alesha had suffered 117 separate injuries.
During a nine-day trial, Campbell attempted to pin the blame on the 18-year-old girlfriend of Alesha's father, after claiming his DNA, which was found at the scene of the crime, was planted there.
However, he later admitted to the killing before being sentenced, claiming he was "quite satisfied by the murder".