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UK News Desk

Teenager, 16, goes on trial accused of raping and murdering a six-year-old girl

Boy, 16, is accused of abducting six-year-old island girl Alesha before raping and suffocating her and dumping her naked body but blames a woman for the crime

  • Body of Alesha MacPhail found in woodland on Isle of Bute on July 2 last year
  • Boy aged 16 denies taking Alesha from her bed, assaulting and murdering her
  • Girl’s naked body was found in the grounds of former hotel at Port Bannatyne
  • Discarded shorts, pants and a vest were discovered nearby, the court is told

A teenage boy accused of raping and murdering a six-year-old girl on the Isle of Bute is blaming a woman for the crime.

The body of Alesha MacPhail was discovered in woodland on the island in the Firth of Clyde on July 2 last year.

A 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denies taking her from her bed, assaulting and murdering her.

The jury at the High Court in Glasgow heard Alesha’s naked body was found in the grounds of the former Kyles Hydropathic Hotel at Port Bannatyne.

The body of Alesha MacPhail was found in woodland on the Isle of Bute in July last year

A 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denies taking Alesha, pictured, from her bed, assaulting and murdering her

The body of Alesha MacPhail, pictured left and right, was found in woodland on the Isle of Bute in July last year

A 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denies taking her from her bed, assaulting and murdering her on the Isle, pictured 

A 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denies taking her from her bed, assaulting and murdering her on the Isle, pictured 

The cause of death was determined as ‘pressure to neck and face’. Discarded shorts, pants and a vest were discovered nearby, the court was told.

The accused has lodged a special defence, stating a named woman committed the crime. 

He also denies attempting to defeat the ends of justice by disposing of clothes and a knife. 

Alesha had been reported missing by her grandmother Angela King at 6.23am on July 2 last year, when a 999 call was made, and she was found at about 9am. 

The jury was told that a hand print belonging to the accused was found on a chair rail leading upstairs at a house in Rothesay, above steps ten and 14, on July 11.

Judge Lord Matthews (above) told the panel that the case was likely to cause 'strong emotions'

Judge Lord Matthews (above) told the panel that the case was likely to cause ‘strong emotions’

Forensic officers on the Isle of Bute in Scotland last July after officers discovered the body

Forensic officers on the Isle of Bute in Scotland last July after officers discovered the body

A school photograph of Alesha MacPhail was placed among tributes last July after her death

A school photograph of Alesha MacPhail was placed among tributes last July after her death

Judge Lord Matthews told the panel that the case, expected to last up to two weeks, was likely to cause ‘strong emotions’.

He said: ‘You have to approach this case with a great deal of professional detachment.’

Advocate depute Iain McSporran QC read out a joint minute to the court listing the agreed facts, before the judge adjourned the case until tomorrow, when evidence will be heard.

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