Alesha MacPhail: Killer Aaron Campbell was on Named Person scheme before rape and murder

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The teenager responsible for the brutal rape and murder of six-year-old Alesha MacPhail was a known offender and was being watched by authorities, it has been reported.

Aaron Campbell snatched Alesha from her bed in her grandparents' home on the Isle of Bute in July 2018, and carried her to nearby woodland where he raped and suffocated her.

Aaron Campbell. Picture: handout

Aaron Campbell. Picture: handout

The Daily Mail reports that the killer was subject to the Scottish Government's Named Person Scheme before the murder.

It is understood he was on the radar of social services and police after carrying out "low-level" crimes, which have not been detailed, on Rothesay, Bute.

The Mail reports a childcare professional monitored his development - before the scheme was axed by the Scottish Government.

However, his behaviour "did not reach the threshold" to trigger the standard protocol for tackling sexually harmful behaviour.

Murder could not be 'forseen'

Alesha MacPhail

Alesha MacPhail

Argyll and Bute Council's child protection committee (CPC) also found the murder could not have been "foreseen".

And they insisted a full-scale Significant Case Review would not take place.

The CPC's "learning summary report" said: " 'There is evidence of good multi-agency communication between the professionals involved.

"Working relationships were strong and information was shared appropriately with agencies having good awareness of the care plan.

"Social work liaised with education services, who played a key role as named person in supporting and monitoring X [Campbell].'

117 injuries

Alesha's body was found in the grounds of a former hotel on Bute on 2 July 2018. A post-mortem examination revealed she had suffered 117 injuries.

Campbell stuck to his not guilty plea throughout his nine-day trial in February, causing further distress to Alesha's family.

On the stand he told the jury his DNA must have been planted at the scene.

Campbell was 16 when he was sentenced in March to 27-years in prison for the attack on the Isle of Bute.

But the prosecution case, built on forensic evidence and CCTV provided by Campbell's mother, was overwhelming.

The jury at the High Court in Glasgow took three hours to unanimously convict Campbell.He successfully appealed the 27 year life sentence, at a hearing at the High Court in Edinburgh in August.

Judges have reduced it to 24 years before parole after citing case law.

Named Person scheme

The Scottish Government had wanted to appoint a Named Person to monitor the welfare of every child in Scotland with the scheme due to have been rolled-out across Scotland in August 2021. The new role would have been given to midwives, health visitors and headteachers.

After it was delayed by the Supreme Court ruling, new proposals were drawn up, but Holyrood’s education and skills committee said it still could not support the legislation and demanded a code of practice showing how private information on families would be shared by Named Persons before it would consider progressing the Act.

An expert panel, established by the government, eventually concluded it could not draw up a code of practice, and Mr Swinney was forced to abandon the Named Person sections of the legislation.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "Our sympathies continue to be with the family of Alesha MacPhail for their dreadful loss.

"The local child protection committee undertook an initial review into the circumstances of this tragic case.

"While that did not find any evidence that this crime could have been foreseen, the local authority has confirmed that it will review local procedures in light of the findings.

"We are also considering whether there is any national learning arising from the review.'