The prison sentence for the teenager who abducted, raped and murdered Alesha MacPhail has been reduced by three years.
Aaron Campbell took the six-year-old from her bed at her grandparents’ home on the Isle of Bute on July 2 last year.
The now 17-year-old was found guilty at the High Court in Glasgow and handed a life sentence with a minimum term of 27 years.
On Tuesday, three judges ruled the sentence should be reduced to 24 years on account of his age at the time of the murder – he was 16.
At the Criminal Appeal Court in Edinburgh in August, Campbell – who took the six-year-old from her bed at her grandparents’ home on the Isle of Bute on July 2 last year – argued that the sentence handed to him was excessive due to him being a child at the time the crimes were committed.
The ruling from Lord Drummond Young, Lord Menzies and Lord Justice Clerk states: “Against the cases to which we have made reference, a punishment part in excess of 20 years was plainly merited.
“We have concluded that a punishment part of 24 years would be appropriate to reflect the appellant’s youth.
“We will accordingly allow the appeal to the extent of substituting that period for the sentence imposed.”
They added: “As with all punishment parts, this is not an indication of the date when the appellant will be released.
“It specifies rather the period which must pass before the appellant may even apply for parole.
“As the trial judge had observed … ‘whether (the appellant) will ever be released will be for others to determine but as matters stand a lot of work will have to be done to change (the appellant) before that could be considered – it may even be impossible’.”
The appeal was first heard in August at the Criminal Appeal Court in Edinburgh, with Alesha’s parents Robert MacPhail and Georgina Lochrane in the gallery.
His appeal was heard before three judges at the Criminal Appeal Court in Edinburgh.
The killer impassively followed proceedings in the court via a live TV link from Polmont young offenders’ institution, where he had been serving one of the longest terms of detention imposed on a juvenile offender in Scotland.