Aaron Campbell was sixteen years old when he committed a crime that shocked Ireland. According to court documents Aaron Campbell obsessed over a six year old girl to the point one night he broke into the little girls bedroom and kidnapped her, telling the girl he was a friend of her Dad’s and was bringing her to him.
This teen killer would bring the little girl to a wooded area where she was brutally raped and tortured to death. Pathologist would note over a hundred injuries to her body. The teens age saved him from spending the rest of his life in prison but it will be at least twenty seven years before he will see a parole board
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Aaron Campbell, 16, told a psychologist “all I thought about was killing her” when he walked in on Alesha sleeping in her bed on the Isle of Bute in Scotland.
The monster carried her out of her family’s holiday house and into woodland before removing her clothes and raping her. He then smothered her to death and dumped her body nearby.
Aaron Campbell – who denied the crimes at trial – admitted the rape and murder for the first time ahead of sentencing for his sickening crimes at Glasgow’s High Court.
Alesha’s mum Georgina Lochrane wept as details of his confession were read to the court, in which he said Alesha had woken up in his arms as he carried her away at 2am.
He told the tragic six-year-old he was a friend of her dad’s and was taking her home.
Judge Lord Matthews said: “You told him (the pyschologist) that in the 12 months prior to the murder, you thought of doing something excessive, including rape.
“He records that when you saw Alesha, your reaction was according to you ‘a moment of opportunity’… ‘all I thought about was killing her once I saw her’.
Defending, QC Brian McConnachie said the teen had shown “traits on the psychopathy checklist” during the pyschological profile.
There were screams of ‘f***ing paedo’ as he was led to the cells after being sentenced to a minimum of 27 years behind bars.
Sentencing Aaron Campbell to life in prison, with a minimum of 27 years, Judge Matthews said: “You had been drinking but wanted cannabis and broke into the house to get some. You returned to the house and entered Alesha’s bedroom.”
Referring to the details of the reports, the judge added: “You said that Alesha was drowsy and became a bit more awake when you went outside.
“She asked who you were and where you were going, you said you were a friend of her father’s and that you were taking her home.
“You gave her your top because she was cold.
“You explained that after you murdered Alesha, you threw your clothes into the sea, had a shower, then returned to where you left her to retrieve your phone.”
The judge continued: “Your attitude was clearly demonstrated by the evidence that you posted an image of yourself in the mirror, while making a joke that you had found where the murderer was hiding.
“Your arrogance was breathtaking. Not once during the trial did I detect a flicker of emotion from you.
“At points during the trial you had to stop yourself from laughing, you had to tell yourself to zip it.”
The cannabis and violent computer game-obsessed teen carried out a savage sexual attack leaving her with 117 separate injuries before smothering her to death and dumping her body.
Aaron Campbell was convicted after damning billion-to-one DNA evidence linked him to the crime scene and chilling CCTV footage showing him skulking from his mum’s home the night of the slaughter on July 2 last year.
Aaron Campbell can be named after a legal challenge by The Sun and other media outlets saw his right to anonymity overturned due to the shocking nature of the murder.
The teen fiend tried to blame Alesha’s father Robert’s girlfriend for the murder in a cowardly bid to escape justice.
Aaron Campbell outrageously claimed that he had a sexual affair with Toni McLachlan and that she had planted DNA evidence from a used condom.
Little Alesha had been staying with her dad and grandparents on the Isle of Bute when she feel asleep watching a Peppa Pig DVD.
Aaron Campbell -who had drunk nearly two bottles of wine at a house party – stole a knife from his mum’s kitchen and swiped Alesha from her bed at 2am.
A “shadowy figure” was later captured on CCTV carrying a mystery object – believed to be Alesha – across the shoreline at Rothesay on the night she vanished.
Once at the site of a former hotel, the twisted killer removed the girl’s clothes and shook her “violently” as he covered her nose, mouth and neck with his hands.
Her mutilated body was found in woods on the Isle of Bute hours later after her devastated family woke up to find she was missing.
Judge Lord Matthews who presided over the case told Campbell the case was “one of the wickedest and most evil crimes in the history of this court”.
Following the verdict, the killer’s mother accepted he was a drug taker but insisted he ‘was not a violent boy’.
She said: “I wanted him to grow up in a safe place, a peaceful environment, and get a good education.
“He wasn’t a violent boy. He was very normal. Yes, he smoked cannabis, but it’s rife among kids on this island.
“I knew he was buying it from Rab [Alesha’s father] and Toni [Rab’s girlfriend], but what could I do? If I went to the police my son would be in trouble.”
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The teenager who abducted, raped and murdered Alesha MacPhail has had his 27-year minimum sentence reduced by appeal judges.
Aaron Campbell was 16 when he was sentenced to life for killing the six-year-old on the Isle of Bute.
In August, his counsel, Brian McConnachie QC, told the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh that the term was excessive in light of his age.
Three judges ruled on Tuesday his sentence should be cut by three years.
Campbell, now 17, will still serve the longest term of detention to be imposed on a juvenile offender in Scotland.
Prior to Campbell’s sentence, Luke Mitchell, the teenager who killed school girl Jodi Jones in 2003, received 20 years.
Mr McConnachie told Lady Dorrian, Lord Menzies and Lord Drummond Young at the start of the appeal: “It was clearly an appalling and heinous crime.
“The outcome of this appeal will not determine when, or indeed if, the appellant is allowed release.”
However, psychologist Dr Gary Macpherson concluded: “I am of the view that the capacity for change may be limited due to the nature of Aaron Campbell’s personality structure and his complex risk factors.
“I apologise to the court for appearing pessimistic, however, I am not confident that Aaron Campbell has the capacity or desire to change his behaviour in any meaningful way and as such the risks will remain for the foreseeable future.”
The appeal ruling said: “In determining the appropriate punishment part the trial judge took account of several cases where the appellant had been a young person.”
It went on to say that comparing Campbell’s case with past cases gave “limited guidance”, and the majority in that case also “highlighted the difficulty of such a comparative exercise”.
After comparing a number of cases where the offender had been a young person or when the crime was of a violent nature, the judges reduced Campbell’s sentence from 27 to 24 years.
The ruling said: “A punishment part in excess of 20 years was plainly merited. We have concluded that a punishment part of 24 years would be appropriate to reflect the appellant’s youth.
“We will accordingly allow the appeal to the extent of substituting that period for the sentence imposed.”
After hearing about the ruling, Alesha’s uncle, Calum-John MacPhail, posted on social media that he would speak to Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf about the decision.
He later told BBC news: “I am angry, upset, done with it. I’m angry at the decision.
“He should be tried like an adult. He doesn’t deserve to have been given any less – or even an appeal.”
Meanwhile, Scottish Conservative justice spokesman Liam Kerr said the ruling was “disgraceful”.
He said: “This is one of the most vile criminals in Scotland, and he should not be enjoying having time shaved off his sentence. If anything he should be looking at an even longer stint.
“Yet again Scotland’s justice system has come down favourably on the side of the criminal and it will cause massive upset to the victim’s family.”
A Scottish government spokesperson said they would not comment on decisions about sentencing.
However, they added: “A person will not be considered for parole until the punishment part of the sentence has expired.”
Alesha, from Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, was only a few days into a family holiday in Rothesay when Campbell took her from her bed in the middle of the night on 2 July last year.
The child’s body was found in the grounds of a former hotel the following morning.
A post-mortem examination later revealed she had suffered 117 injuries.
During his nine-day trial in February, Campbell lodged a special defence naming the 18-year-old girlfriend of Alesha’s father as the killer.
Aaron Campbell also took the stand and told the jury his DNA must have been planted at the crime scene.
However, before being sentenced he confessed to the killing