'Family friend', 16, charged with rape and murder of six-year-old Alesha MacPhail on Isle of Bute
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'Family friend', 16, charged with rape and murder of six-year-old Alesha MacPhail on Isle of Bute

A TEENAGE BOY has appeared in court charged with the rape and murder of Scottish schoolgirl Alesha MacPhail.

The six-year-old's body was found near her grandmother's home in Rothesay, on the Isle of Bute, just hours after she went missing on Monday morning.

Alesha, from Airdrie in North Lanarkshire, was visiting her father and paternal grandparents for a three-week holiday at the time and had only been on the island for a few days.

A 16-year-old boy, understood to be a friend of the family, was arrested on Wednesday and appeared before Greenock Sheriff Court today.

During a brief appearance the accused, who cannot be named for legal reasons, made no plea or declaration and was remanded in custody.

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He is expected to return to court next week.

Detectives have not specified how Alesha died, but a murder investigation was launched following the results of a post-mortem examination.

Officers also believe the schoolgirl was sexually assaulted and decided to charge the accused with both offences.