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Teenage killer of six-year-old Alesha MacPhail should have been sentenced as an adult, says family

The teenage killer of murdered six-year-old Alesha MacPhail should have been sentenced as an adult, her family has told ITV News.

Aaron Campbell, 16, was jailed for a minimum of 27 years and is now serving time in a young offender institution.

Alesha's uncle, Calum-John MacPhail, believes the sentence should have been harsher and is campaigning for legal reform.

He told ITV News: "Don't put him in next to other children.

"What sort of system would allow of that level of corruption to be around people of either a younger age or people he may be able to then extend his influence on to."

The judge said he had given Campbell a lenient sentence because he was, in the eyes of the law, still a child.

Mr MacPhail has started a petition to change the law so that murderers and rapists who are 16 are tried and convicted as adults.

"We just want a system to put him away for the correct amount of time," he told ITV News.

"She's [Alesha] the one that needs to be kept in everyone's mind. He shouldn't have one thought spent on him because he's not worth it."

Campbell snatched Alesha from her bed while she slept at her grandparents’ home on the Isle of Bute last summer.

He was convicted of abducting, raping and murdering the youngster at the High Court in Glasgow in February where a jury found him guilty unanimously, following a nine-day trial.

Aaron Campbell was convicted of abducting, raping and murdering Alesha MacPhail.

Speaking through tears Mr MacPhail, told ITV News he wanted people to remember his neice as the "smiley, happy girl" who made sure everyone else was happy.

His petition states "that anyone over the age of 16" should be handed a "full adult sentence...if they have committed a serious crime such as murder, rape or abduction and be able to receive the full punishment".

Calum-John MacPhail's petition.

Lord Matthews sentenced him to life imprisonment and ordered him to spend at least 27 years behind bars before he can apply for parole, but warned he may never be released.

The judge said social work and psychologist reports “had painted a clear picture of a cold, callous, calculating, remorseless and dangerous individual”.

He said: “You went into the house and then her bedroom. You removed her from there and took her to a secluded spot where you violated and murdered her in the most brutal fashion.

“It is difficult to imagine the distress which her family must have suffered, not only when she went missing but when the awful news came in that she had been found dead.”

He said Campbell had shown a “staggering lack of remorse” and told the teenager: “Not once did I detect a flicker of emotion from you.”