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Alesha MacPhail, six, suffered ‘catastrophic’ injures and was ‘smothered to death’, court told | UK News

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Six-year-old Alesha MacPhail was smothered to death and suffered “catastrophic” injuries to her genital area, a court has heard.

:: The following report contains graphic content which may be distressing to some readers

The schoolgirl suffered a total of 117 separate injuries, pathologist John Williams told the High Court in Glasgow as jurors were shown “distressing” and graphic images of the injuries.

He said he carried out the post-mortem examination on the girl and found the cause of death to be “significant and forceful pressure to her neck and face”.

Dr Williams said Alesha’s injuries to her neck and face were consistent with being gripped and those around her nose and mouth were consistent with “smothering”.

He said injuries to her genitals were consistent with “severe and forceful inflicted penetration”, which he said could have been caused by a body part or an object.

Dr Williams said he had never seen injuries of this kind inflicted on the genital area.

Dr Williams said he had never seen injuries of the kind inflicted on the genital area
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Dr Williams said he had never seen injuries of the kind inflicted on Alesha

The mother of a 16-year-old boy accused of murdering Alesha later told the court her home CCTV system recorded him leaving the house on the night she was killed.

She was giving evidence at the trial of her son, who denies the abduction, rape and murder of Alesha on the Isle of Bute on 2 July last year. He is also accused of attempting to destroy evidence.

His mother cannot be named as the accused’s identity cannot be revealed because of his age. In court, she said her son was well-liked and agreed he was popular and well-achieving.

He had friends round to the house for a party on the evening of 1 July 2018, the court heard.

CCTV was played in court in which mother and son could be heard arguing at 12.20am the next morning.

She told the court he was angry with her because she was trying to get him to phone his sister, who had left the house with friends. The woman said her son was very drunk at the time, having consumed a bottle of wine and Mad Dog 20/20.

She told the jury that after his sister had come home, as far as she was concerned, they all went to bed. She was woken the next morning by shouting in the street and became aware that Alesha was missing.

The woman went out to help look for her and came across Alesha’s dad, Robert MacPhail, and his girlfriend Toni McLachlan. She said Ms McLachlan looked upset and she gave her a cuddle and told her she was sure everything was going to be fine.

The accused’s mother said she checked her home CCTV system around 10.30am, and that she was looking to see if there was a little girl wandering past her area.

She was asked if she saw anything that took her by surprise and she answered that she saw her son come back into the house around 3am. She said she was surprised to see him out of the property.

After looking back further on the CCTV footage, she said she saw her son leave the house.

She was asked if he came and went from the house just once and she answered “no”. She said he had come back to the house and then had a shower, left his clothes “at his backside” and left again, and was in only shorts at that point.

Alesha's father Robert MacPhail attending the trial in Glasgow
Image:
Alesha’s father Robert MacPhail attending the trial in Glasgow

She said it looked as if he was carrying a T-shirt and he jumped over the wall and disappeared for seven minutes. She said that when he came back he didn’t have the T-shirt on and didn’t have shoes on.

Asked what she thought, she said she just wondered why he had been out. She said she asked him after she had seen the CCTV footage.

The mother told jurors that he was lying in bed and his reaction was: “I don’t know, I might have been looking for my phone.”

The accused’s mother said she waited for her friend to come back from work and told her what she had seen.

The friend urged her to call the police, the court heard. The mother said she did not think he had anything to do with this whatsoever but that he may have seen something while he was out.

CCTV played in court showed the accused leaving the house at 1.54 am on the morning of 2 July in black trousers, jogging bottoms and a black fleece.

Then at 3.35am, walking towards the property, he jumped over the wall and entered the house. His mother was asked in court if there was anything different about clothing on the later footage. She said he did not have the dark fleece on.

Footage at 3.44am on the same morning showed a light come on in the bathroom. At 3.45am, a person, who the mother agreed is the accused, was seen leaving only wearing shorts.

The accused has lodged a special defence blaming Ms McLachlan for the killing.

During her evidence on Wednesday, she said she had nothing to do with Alesha’s death and told the court she “loved her to pieces”.

The trial continues.

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