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Alesha MacPhail's mum's warning after evil teen who murdered daughter has sentence cut

Mirror logo Mirror 6 days ago Sally Hind
a person with collar shirt: Georgina Lochrane has hit out after her daughter's killer saw his sentence reduced © Daily Record Georgina Lochrane has hit out after her daughter's killer saw his sentence reduced

DISTRESSING CONTENT - WARNING: The following story may be distressing to some readers.

Alesha MacPhail's mum has warned the teen who raped and murdered her daughter will kill again.

Georgina Lochrane hit out after Aaron Campbell had his sentence reduced from 27 years to 24 for the attack on the Isle of Bute last summer.

It now means vile Campbell, 17, could be considered for release when he turns 40.

Georgina, 24, told the Daily Record the teen had succeeded in “playing the system”.

She said she fears for the next generation of children who will be at risk when he is released back into society.

The mum added she would use victim support protection to shield her daughter Courtney, five, from harm when the brute makes his bid for freedom.

a person posing for a picture: Alesha was murdered on the Isle of Bute last summer © Provided by Reach Publishing Services Limited Alesha was murdered on the Isle of Bute last summer

She said: “I’m worried for the future generations of children who will be running about when he gets out. He’s a danger to children and he’s always going to be.

“Courtney will be 29 when his time is up. When Alesha died we were sent away for a while and I lasted one day because I was so paranoid he would break out of jail and come and take Courtney.

“He’s the worst of the worst and they’ve caught him on his first kill. We could be sitting here with ten children dead if they hadn’t caught him – and I don’t think he would have stopped until he was caught.”

At the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh, Campbell’s lawyers said the day may never come when he is safe to be released.

But they argued the sentence imposed on him was “excessive and amounts to a miscarriage of justice” as he was just 16 when he committed the crime.

a person posing for the camera: Aaron Campbell will serve a minimum of 24 years in prison © PA Aaron Campbell will serve a minimum of 24 years in prison

They used the case of Luke Mitchell, who murdered his girlfriend Jodi Jones when he was 14, to back up their bid.

In a written judgment, three appeal judges agreed the sentence imposed was excessive but the harrowing 21-page document gave a horrifying insight into the mind of the schoolboy from a small island who committed one of worst crimes in Scottish history.

Campbell was 16 when he abducted Alesha from her bed at her grandparents’ home on Bute on July 2 last year.

The schoolgirl, from Airdrie, had been staying on the island with her dad for the start of the summer holidays.

After sneaking into the attic flat with the intention of robbing Alesha’s dad of cannabis, Campbell found Alesha sleeping and carried her to woods, where he raped, strangled and suffocated her.

He left her naked body, which had 117 injuries, to be discovered by a member of a search party the next morning and set about trying to cover up his brutal crime.

a person posing for the camera: Georgina at the High Court in Glasgow © PA Georgina at the High Court in Glasgow

His mum, Janette Campbell, shopped him to police after spotting his unusual movements on the morning of the murder on their home’s CCTV system.

Campbell was unanimously convicted by a jury after putting Alesha’s loved ones through a nine-day trial in February, during which he tried to incriminate Alesha’s dad’s girlfriend, Toni McLachlan, for the murder.

He subsequently admitted his guilt to a court psychologist, saying he was “quite satisfied” with the murder and had to “zip his mouth” to stop himself laughing during the trial.

He was sentenced to detention without limit of time with a minimum sentence of 27 years in March before lodging his appeal bid.

Georgina said: “I was preparing myself for it to be cut by something but wasn’t expecting it to be reduced by that amount. People keep saying, ‘It’s only three years’, but it’s three years too much.

“He took a six-year-old wee girl’s life and 27 years wasn’t even long enough.

“They’re telling me it’s still not going to affect the chance of parole but he’s won his appeal and he’s playing the system.”

Georgina said her daughter has been “denied a voice” throughout the appeal process, but she will fight every attempt the killer makes for parole in the future to ensure he is never released.

She said: “He had someone to stand up and say he’s too young for this sentence.

"Who was there to stand up for Alesha and say she was too young to die? She didn’t have anyone to back her corner but he does.

“She’s had all her human rights taken away. She didn’t ask to be abducted, raped and murdered. He made that choice for her.

“He knew what he was doing. I believe he is very clever and he knew exactly what he was doing that night.

“He knew what the consequences were going to be. He googled DNA to try to cover his own back. He’s tried to make out he’s this daft young boy and it’s clear as day – it stares right out of him – that he’s not daft.

“He has still not shown any remorse. I can’t speak for the MacPhails, but I know I would never accept or listen to an apology anyway.

“He’s not just destroyed Alesha’s life, he’s hurt the whole of Scotland. I think the public will be in uproar that his appeal has succeeded.

“When a parole bid comes I will be Alesha’s voice and stand up for her and fight all the way.”

Last night Alesha’s uncle Calum MacPhail said the family had been failed by the justice system yesterday. 

He said: “This has been the most atrocious day. It’s like applying salt to a very open wound. The justice system hasn’t helped us in any sort of way, other than to give, give, give to him and take away from us.”

Support for victims of sexual violence:

  1. NZ Police
  2. Victim Support 0800 842 846
  3. Rape Crisis 0800 88 33 00
  4. Rape Prevention Education
  5. HELP (Auckland) 09 623 1700
  6. Te Ohaakii a Hine – National Network Ending Sexual Violence Together
  7. Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Aotearoa New Zealand

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