The Abduction and Murder of Alesha McPhail

Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 18918
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:18 pm

The Abduction and Murder of Alesha McPhail

Post by Alibongo » Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:50 pm

A picture of Alesha among tributes on the Isle of Bute in Scotland following the murder

The nine-day trial heard evidence from Alesha's 26-year-old father Robert MacPhail and from her grandparents Calum MacPhail and Angela King, who described their last hours with the youngster.

Jurors heard from Mr MacPhail's 18-year-old partner Toni McLachlan, who said she loved Alesha 'to pieces' and had only found out she was being incriminated a few days before she gave evidence.

Lastly came the evidence of the smartly-turned out and composed accused, who told the court Ms McLachlan could have been 'fantasising about killing Alesha for months' after defence suggestions she was jealous of the child and felt threatened by the attention Mr MacPhail paid his daughter.

The intensive work of crime scene examiners, forensic experts and detectives told a different story.

Ms King, 47, had picked Alesha up from her mother's home in Airdrie the Thursday before her death, treating her to a visit to Fun World play centre in Greenock before returning to Bute.

Robert MacPhail had split from Georgina Lochrane around three months after Alesha was born on October 22, 2011 and the pair shared custody.

Unemployed Mr MacPhail moved back from the mainland to Rothesay and was living with his parents in their attic flat, where Alesha would spend every second weekend and part of the holidays.

He said his daughter 'couldn't have got on any better' with her grandparents, who had cleared a small room for her.

Ms King said: 'I loved her, we got on great, absolutely brilliantly.'

Of Alesha's relationship with her partner, she told the court: 'If everybody else said no, grandpa said yes.'

On July 1, Alesha had fallen asleep watching a Peppa Pig DVD after being put to bed for the last time at around 10.30pm.

When Ms King went to bed around two hours later, she did so having left the flat key in the door. She routinely did this during the day so that family members could come and go as they pleased.

No-one heard a thing later as Alesha's bedroom door was opened and the child was snatched and taken down the stairs.

Mr MacPhail Senior was the one to raise the alarm at around 6am, after almost walking into the door which opened out into the hallway as he went to the bathroom.

The family immediately began the search for Alesha, looking under beds, opening cupboards and pulling out drawers in desperation.

Ms King could still be heard checking a cupboard as she spoke to a police operator after dialling 999 at 6.23am.

In the conversation played to the jury, she said: 'We've just got up this morning and my granddaughter's missing.'

Describing Alesha, she said: 'She's a pretty wee girl with long blonde hair.'

A Facebook post appealing for help rallied neighbours, friends and strangers who searched the beach and park, and made inquiries at the taxi rank and ferry terminal.

By 9am, Alesha's body had been found and the family were told to gather at the police station where they received the news they had been dreading.

Alesha's grandfather's eyes filled with tears as he told the jury: 'We were all put into a room and about five minutes later a police officer came in and said 'we found her but she's passed''.

The court heard Alesha suffered a total of 117 separate injuries, with those to her neck and face consistent with being gripped and those to her nose and mouth indicating she had been smothered.

During the trial it emerged Alesha's father had sold cannabis to her killer in the months before, in order to fund his own habit.

The court was shown screen displays from a phone said to be the accused's which suggested it had been used to call Alesha's father at 1.40am on July 2.

Ms McLachlan, who had been in an on-off relationship with Mr MacPhail for around two years, had also received a call from the teenager in the early hours.

But prosecutors dismissed as a 'pack of lies' the accused's claims that he had sexual intercourse with Ms McLachlan in a shed in the early hours before Alesha was found.

His semen was found on the six-year-old, and the boy claimed it was planted by Ms McLachlan from the condom they used.

But the trial heard evidence fibres from clothes recovered from the shoreline on Bute matched those discovered on Alesha's vest, shorts and pants.

In further evidence, the phone - said to belong to the teenager - was used to Google 'how do police find DNA' in the days after the child's murder.
Parent-blaming is all-too-common these days, and usually the point is to make other parents feel better about their own parenting skills

User avatar
Posts: 18918
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:18 pm

Re: The Abduction and Murder of Alesha McPhail

Post by Alibongo » Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:58 pm

So he abducted her without leaving any evidence of himself and without drawing any attention to himself despite the family sleeping nearby. I think the hounders need to have this pointed out to them.

ETA - the judge also instructed the jury to disregard the fact that The Accused said "No comment" to every police question. The judge said that nothing could be drawn from this (the court had previously emphasised that this was his right and that he had been acting on his lawyer's advice. The hounders won't like that either!
Parent-blaming is all-too-common these days, and usually the point is to make other parents feel better about their own parenting skills

User avatar
Posts: 31781
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 9:08 pm

Re: The Abduction and Murder of Alesha McPhail

Post by catkins » Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:12 pm

A horrendous crime to happen to a wee girl, and her poor family.

And yes it does happen that children can be stolen from their beds.....poor little mite :s_cry :s_cry :s_cry

May Aleisha Rest In Peace.
Madeleine McCann- Abducted May 2007 from Praia Da Luz, Algarve, Portugal.
DCI Redwood of Scotland Yard - stated that Madeleine could still be found - alive. ... ign?_rdr=p

Posts: 2304
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:46 am

Re: The Abduction and Murder of Alesha McPhail

Post by scoobydoo » Sun Feb 24, 2019 9:14 pm

Thus just makes me so upset, a child taken from their bed to be murdered so horribly. It just takes one person to destroy the illusion we have that we are all safe. That's why these cases are so frightening. We all think we are so safe, that it wouldn't happen to us because we lock our doors, stay in the house with our children. But how many of us actually change the locks when we move homes? I don't, it never occurred to me until recently that any number of people could have a key depending on who the previous owners shared keys with. How many of us sit in a different part of the house or even in the garden assuming we would hear someone come in, when the reality is that if we sit in the garden we wouldn't hear a thing. We all live our lives thinking we are making ourselves safe but the reality is we are safe because so few people want to cause harm.

Post Reply