20th FEB 2019 – Alesha MacPhail trial: Neighbour ‘overheard abuse at home’ https://news.sky.com/story/alesha-macphail-trial-neighbour-overheard-abuse-at-home-11642654
19th FEB 2019 – Boy accused of murdering girl, 6, takes stand.
“No DNA-evidence from accused at Alesha’s house”
A boy’s hooded top was discarded in a skip despite being recovered on a shoreline days after the body of Alesha MacPhail was found.
A murder trial heard that a dog walker contacted police on 6 July last year after spotting the youth XL garment on the Isle of Bute.
It was put in an evidence bag then dumped in a skip behind Rothesay Police Station by a police sergeant.
A 16-year-old denies abducting, raping and murdering six-year-old Alesha.
He cannot be named because he is under the age of 18.
It is alleged that Alesha was taken from the home her grandparents shared with her father.
Her body was discovered in a wooded area on 2 July last year.
- Alesha, six, had ‘catastrophic’ injuries
- Woman denies killing six-year-old Alesha
- Alesha’s father ‘sold cannabis to accused’
- Boy accused of Alesha murder blames woman
The jury previously heard that Alesha suffered 117 injuries, although some could have been caused by vegetation in the area where she was found.
She died from significant pressure being applied to her face and neck.
On Friday the High Court in Glasgow was told a black Nike hooded top was initially found by Zareya MacGillivray.
She contacted police and it was recovered by Sgt Anthony Hannah, using gloves and an evidence bag.
But the jury heard the officer later put it in the bin after consulting with a colleague.
Sgt Hannah said the discovery came after the arrest of the 16-year-old suspect.
He added: “At that time we had no information that there was anything outstanding from the inquiry.”
Under cross examination by Brian McConnachie QC, for the accused, he denied his actions had been “reckless”.
Sgt Hannah told the court the top was found about half a mile outside the designated parameters set by search advisers for the investigation.
It was removed from the skip when the inquiry team was made aware of it.
The accused has also been charged with attempting to hide evidence.
He has claimed it was Toni McLachlan, the partner of Alesha’s father, who killed the child.
During her evidence to the court on Wednesday, Ms McLachlan insisted she had nothing to do with Alesha’s death, telling jurors: “I loved her to pieces.”
The trial, before Lord Matthews, continues.
Why is the BBC not naming the accused?
It is illegal in Scotland to publish the name, address, school or any other information which could identify anyone under the age of 18 who is the accused, victim or witness in a criminal case
This law applies to social media as well as to websites, newspapers and TV and radio programmes.
However, the name of victims who have died can be published – so the BBC and other outlets are able to identify Alesha MacPhail.
How can an accused blame someone else for the crime?
Ahead of their trial, the accused can lodge a special defence such as self-defence (they were defending themselves from attack), alibi (they were somewhere else when the crime was committed) and mental disorder (the accused is not responsible for their actions because they were suffering from a psychiatric condition).
In this case, the accused has lodged a special defence of incrimination, which means he has claimed that someone else (Toni McLachlan) was responsible.
However, the Crown must still prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. There is no onus on the accused to prove their special defence is true, and he or she can still be acquitted even if the jury does not believe their special defence.
Alesha MacPhail‘s family were asked if they wanted to leave the court before horrific details of 117 injuries she suffered were revealed.
Consultant forensic pathologist John Williams gave evidence at the High Court in Glasgow this morning in the trial of a 16-year-old boy accused of abducting, raping and murdering the little girl.
He examined the six-year-old’s naked dead body in woodland where she was found after going missing from her grandmother’s home on the Isle of Bute in July last year.
The child suffered abrasions to her “torso, left elbow and trunk” as well
as genital injuries.
A further examination revealed a series of haemorrhages on her face and neck, indicative of pressure being applied.
Dr Williams told the court he recorded 117 separate injuries, some of which may have been caused by the surroundings where her body was found.
He said there were injuries to Alesha’s vertebrae consistent with shaking.
And he told the jury that her death was caused by pressure to her neck and face and explained her injuries were consistent with “manual gripping” and using a hand, or hands, and “smothering” of the mouth.
The High Court in Glasgow heard Alesha MacPhail also suffered “catastrophic” genital injuries, more severe than pathologist John Williams had ever seen before.
Alesha’s loved ones were advised they may wish to leave the court during Dr Williams’ evidence, because of its graphic nature.
The teenage accused cannot be named for legal reasons.
He has lodged a special defence blaming Toni McLachlan, the girlfriend of Alesha MacPhail’s dad, for her death and also denies attempting to defeat the ends of justice by disposing of clothing and a knife.
Alesha, from Airdrie, was visiting family in Rothesay when she died on July 2.
She was reported missing by her grandmother, Angela King, 47, at 6.23am around 10 minutes after realising she was not in her bed.
Her body was found a short time later.
The trial continues.