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Teenager charged in connection with the death of six-year-old girl in Scotland

Alesha MacPhail’s body was discovered in a wooded area in Ardbeg Road, Bute on Monday.

A picture among tributes near a house on Ardbeg Road on the Isle of Bute in Scotland
A picture among tributes near a house on Ardbeg Road on the Isle of Bute in Scotland
Image: John Linton

Updated Jul 5th 2018, 5:10 PM

A MALE TEENAGER has been charged in connection with the death of six-year-old Alesha MacPhail on the Isle of Bute in Scotland.

She was reported missing around 6.25am on Monday. Her body was discovered in a wooded area in Ardbeg Road, Bute on Monday.

Following a postmortem examination which took place on Tuesday, Police Scotland confirmed that the death is being treated as murder.

The 16-year-old remains in custody and is expected to appear at Greenock Sheriff Court tomorrow.

Superintendent Stuart Houston thanked Alesha’s family – “who have shown incredible bravery through what has been an unimaginable ordeal during these past few days”.

“I’d also like to thank local people for all their support and assistance during this major investigation on the island. The response to our appeals was significant both from those living here and the wider community of Scotland.”

Body found on the Isle of Bute Police officers on Ardbeg Road on the Isle of Bute in Scotland, after the body of Alesha MacPhail was found Source: John Linton via PA Images

“The people of the Isle of Bute have rallied together since Alesha was first reported missing on Monday morning and I would stress that social media speculation relating to members of the community is both misleading and inaccurate.

Houston said that the family had also received “considerable support” from Alesha’s home town of Airdrie; a memorial service was held at her school.

He also offered advice to those who have been following the story and are concerned by it, adding that Argyll and Bute and North Lanarkshire councils have services available for those who may have been affected.

“Officers and staff from across Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority have been involved in what has been a difficult and challenging investigation during which they have worked tirelessly to bring us to where we are today.

As I have said previously, incidents such as this are extremely rare and while the police investigation will continue, I hope that today’s announcement brings some reassurance to everyone in the local community.

“We are aware that there may be children, parents and carers who have concerns following the tragic events. Children 1st run ParentLine Scotland, which is available to provide early help, practical and emotional support and information for all families across Scotland.

Any adult concerned about a child or young person can call 08000 28 22 33 or visit this website, he added.

- with reporting from Gráinne Ní Aodha. Comments have been closed as a person has been charged.

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