Alesha MacPhail killer can now be identified as Aaron Campbell after judge lifts identity restriction

The 16-year-old boy who raped and murdered Alesha MacPhail can be identified as Aaron Campbell after a judge allowed his name to be reported.

The body of the six-year-old was found in woods on the Isle of Bute on July 2 last year, hours after she was reported missing from the house her father shared with his parents and partner on the island.

A jury at the High Court in Glasgow took three hours to find the teenager guilty unanimously on Thursday, following a nine-day trial.

CCTV from his mother's home taken during the early hours of 2 July 2018, the day Alesha was abducted, has also been released. It was shown in court but was previously withheld from the public as it could identify Campbell.

The timeline of the CCTV from 2 July 2018 is:

  • 3.35am: He appears to come home but doesn’t come in front gate, he jumps over the wall. He’s no longer wearing the dark hoodie. Then the bathroom light goes on as he has a shower.

  • 3.45am: He leaves wearing only shorts, and carrying clothes. He breaks into a run when outside his gate.

  • 3.52am: He returns still only wearing shorts, climbs over a wall and goes back into house. He’s no longer carrying any clothes.

  • 3.58am: He’s sprinting out of the house having changed clothes and carrying what looks like a torch.

  • 4.07am: He returns again.

He could not previously be identified because he is under 18 but judge Lord Matthews on Friday ruled he can be named after considering an application from media outlets.

He said: “I can’t think of a case in recent times that has attracted such revulsion.

“I intend to grant the application. The press may name the accused and publish images of him.”

  • Aaron Campbell was an aspiring YouTuber

The schoolgirl was days into her summer holiday on the island when her body was found dumped in nearby woodland with more than 100 injuries.

It can now be reported that her killer was a fifth year Rothesay Academy pupil, who lifted weights, played computer games and had his own YouTube channel.

YouTube clips featuring the 16-year-old show him performing somersaults on a trampoline, saying to the camera: "I'd like to welcome you guys to the channel."

In another he addresses viewers: "Yo, it's Aaron Campbell here."

A nine-day trial at the High Court in Glasgow heard Campbell drank alcohol, used cannabis, and hosted a party of around 15 friends at the home he shared with his housekeeper mother earlier on the night he abducted Alesha.

CCTV footage from his mother's own security system provided the evidence detectives needed to prove he had left the property on Ardbeg Road in Rothesay at the crucial time.

She had contacted police herself, hoping the footage would eliminate her son from the investigation.

Campbell was captured coming and going from his home several times in the early hours of July 2, removing items of clothing and retrieving a torch.

He had earlier tried to contact Alesha's father Robert MacPhail and his partner Toni McLachlan, thought to have been seeking to buy cannabis as he had done from Mr MacPhail in the past.

A jury found Campbell guilty of rape and murder unanimously on Thursday.

Media organisations including the Daily Record, BBC Scotland and STV then applied to have a ban on revealing his identity lifted.

Scots law prohibits the naming of under 18s who are the subject of criminal proceedings.

Lord Matthews opted to lift the ban in the case he said had caused "such revulsion".

Alesha's mother Georgina Lochrane was in court to hear the judge's decision on Friday.

Campbell, who the judge heard has a history of self-harm, anxiety and depression, will be sentenced on March 21.

Lord Matthews warned the teenager, currently being held at Polmont Young Offenders Institute, that he may never be released from custody.