Alesha MacPhail: Teenager accused of raping and murdering girl blames woman

11 February 2019, 15:40 | Updated: 11 February 2019, 21:30

A teenager accused of raping and murdering six-year-old Alesha MacPhail has blamed a woman for the crime.

The 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denies taking the girl from her bed on the Isle of Bute, assaulting her and then murdering her.

He also denies attempting to defeat the ends of justice by disposing of clothes and a knife.

He has lodged a special defence of incrimination, stating a named woman committed the crime.

Alesha's body was discovered in woodland on the isle in the Firth of Clyde on 2 July, last year.

Her naked body was found on the grounds of the former Kyles Hydropathic Hotel in Port Bannatyne, a court was told.

It is alleged that the girl was taken to the site, shaken violently and raped before sustaining injuries "by means to the prosecutor unknown".

Jurors at the High Court in Glasgow heard how the cause of death had been determined as "pressure to neck and face".

Judge Lord Matthews said the trial was expected to last up to two weeks and that it was likely to evoke "strong emotions".

"You have to approach this case with a great deal of professional detachment," he told the panel.

The court also heard a joint minute of agreed facts before the judge adjourned the case until Tuesday, when jurors will hear evidence.