ANGELIC Alesha MacPhail was pictured the day before her brutal murder at her pal’s birthday party smiling sweetly – just the way her heartbroken family want the world to remember her.
These last pictures of the tragic six-year-old dressed in a pink party frock were taken just hours before her abduction and cold-blooded murder by psycho killer Aaron Campbell, 16, whose identity was finally exposed to the world following a legal challenge by this newspaper.
The heart- wrenching snaps capture the schoolgirl’s “loving, beautiful and caring” nature as she grins from ear to ear for the camera alongside her cute pals – and a massive pink and yellow dinosaur.
The youngster had travelled over on the ferry from the Isle of Bute – where she had been staying with her dad Robert MacPhail, 26, and grandparents – for the day to attend the celebration at softplay centre Dinom8, near her mother Georgina Lochrane’s home in Airdrie, Lanarkshire.
She had been escorted there on July 1, by her doting grandfather, 76-year-old George Lochrane, who was eager to spend time with his “wee pal” during her summer break.
But little did he know that would be the last time he would see his darling granddaughter alive, as the youngster travelled back to Bute later that day and that night would be abducted as she slept by the “monster” teenager, who was armed with a knife.
Today, as The Scottish Sun exclusively print the precious snaps, Alesha’s heartbroken mother Georgina, 24, wishing she could turn back time, said if she’d only taken Alesha home with her, she could have been kept safe from the clutches of the Bute beast.
Instead excited Alesha returned on the ferry and just hours later was taken in the night by cannabis and computer games obsessed psycho.
'If it wasn’t Alesha it would have been another child'
Brave Georgina said: “He clearly had this well planned and well thought through.
“If it wasn’t Alesha it would have been another child and if he wasn’t caught we have would have more kids killed by that monster.
“She had gone on July 1, just hours before that ‘thing’ got to her.
“She had gone over to Bute on the Thursday and this party was on the Sunday and she went back to Bute after the party.”
On that tragic evening, Alesha been tucked up in bed by dad Robert MacPhail at 10.30pm, after enjoying watching a Peppa Pig DVD.
Hours later, boozed-up Campbell crept into her dad’s house at 2am – which was a five minute walk from his house – and snatched the youngster from her bedroom, subjected her to a savage sexual attack and smothered her to death.
The callous brute was then caught on CCTV casually returning home for a shower.
We told yesterday how shattered Georgina revealed how she had a mother’s instinct something was wrong – and woke up consumed by an inexplicable ache for her little girl hours before she learned she was missing.
And she was horrified to read online tributes from strangers as police launched a search.
On Thursday a jury found the teenage maniac – who was obsessed with the horror character Slender Man – unanimously guilty of her rape and murder after a nine-day trial at the High Court in Glasgow.
The trial heard how Alesha suffered 117 separate injuries at the hands of the warped psycho.
He smothered her to death after subjecting her to a sick sexual attack in a secluded spot after carrying her there.
The jury heard incontrovertible proof of his guilt – including damning billion-to-one DNA evidence linking him to the crime scene – and chilling CCTV footage showing him skulking from his mum’s home the night of the slaughter.
They returned a unanimous verdict prompting Alesha’s outraged dad Robert, 26, to shout “f*****g scumbag” as cruel Campbell was led to the cells in handcuffs.
Just seconds before Lord Matthews had told Campbell: “Alesha MacPhail was a sweet, angelic little girl.
“She would’ve gone home to her mother looking forward to tell stories to her and her friends.
“Instead of that you came into her life and stole her life.”
'Fly high beautiful angel'
Lord Matthews also told the High Court in Glasgow the case “was one of the wickedest and most evil crimes in the history of this court”.
The twisted teen was not able to be named throughout the hearing because of his age and had been referred to as ‘AC’ whenever the trial was called over the court tannoy.
But a ban on identifying Campbell was lifted on Friday.
Tony Graham QC – representing the media – argued it was in the “public interest” for the teen to be exposed.
Judge Lord Matthews agreed to lift the ban on identifying the killer.
Following the decision, we told how the child’s mother wanted him to “rot in jail” and her grandfather wished he had been hanged.
And later Alesha’s heartbroken parents – who split just months after Alesha was born – each changed their profile picture to one of their little girl wearing a fireman’s hat – which was now emblazoned with angel wings.
The heart-warming act saw friends and family leave dozens of heartfelt and encouraging messages in memory of the “angel”.
Pal Dayna Hughes wrote: “Beautiful so she is Genie”, while another Kathleen Quinn added: “Just perfect.”
Meanwhile on Rab’s profile, Stephanie Mcdowall wrote: “Fly high beautiful angel, as Theresa Minnes added: “Chin up Rab. You’ll have your own wee angel everywhere you go…Fly high beautiful.”
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His pal, John Bell added: “Think of you and the family mate, keep the chin up.”
Campbell – who was accused of killing and skinning cats by islanders – will be sentenced next month pending reports about his mental state.
His name will also be put on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.
Campbell faces a life term when sentenced on March 21.
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