The teenager who abducted, raped and murdered a six-year-old girl on the Isle of Bute has had his minimum sentence reduced by three years following an appeal in Edinburgh.
Aaron Campbell , 17, claimed his 27-year sentence was “excessive” in an appeal against the prison sentence, which was heard at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh last month.
Campbell was 16 when he abducted Alesha MacPhail, from Airdrie, from her bed after sneaking into her grandparents’ home on the island on July 2 last year, where she was staying on holiday with her father.
Three of Scotland’s top judges have now decided that the minimum term he will serve before being considered for parole will be reduced from 27 years to 24.
At the time of the initial sentencing, Lord Matthews said: “You were found guilty of the abduction, rape and murder of Alesha MacPhail, a six-year-old child.
“Merely stating that fact is horrific enough but the circumstances surrounding these vile crimes and the manner of their commission have quite rightly aroused revulsion and disbelief that these sorts of things could happen.”
The killer’s solicitor said during the appeal that the day of his release “may never come” but argued that the minimum punishment was “excessive and amounts to a miscarriage of justice” due to Campbell’s age.
He will now be 40 years old when his release can be considered for the first time.
The teen carried young Alesha to woodland where he raped and suffocated her, leaving her body to be discovered by a member of a search party the next morning.
Campbell was unanimously convicted by a jury after a nine-day trial in February, during which he tried to incriminate Alesha’s dad’s girlfriend for the murder.
He subsequently admitting his guilt to a court psychologist – going as far as saying he had to “zip his mouth” to stop himself laughing during the trial at the High Court in Glasgow.
He was sentenced to detention without limit of time in March.