A teenager accused of murdering six-year-old Alesha MacPhail sent a video of himself to friends with the message “found the guy who’s done it”, a court has heard.

The 16-year-old, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, denies abducting, 
raping and murdering the child on Bute last July.

Giving evidence from behind a screen, a 16-year-old girl who was good friends with the accusedsuspect said of the comment: “At the time I thought, ‘It’s a joke. It’s a bad joke, but it’s a joke’.”

She later informed the police when it emerged an arrest had been made in the murder inquiry.

Read more: Alesha MacPhail murder trial: Pathologist who examined girl said she had 117 injuries on her body

The court heard Alesha’s disappearance was discussed in a Snapchat group of around 25 friends on July 2 last year.

Alesha, from Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, had been staying in the house her father shared with her grandparents on the island when she was reported missing shortly after 6am on that date. Her naked body was found hours later.

The witness told the High Court in Glasgow that the accused also sent messages to the group “saying what he thought could’ve happened” and “how could (Alesha) have got out the house without anybody noticing in the house”.
She agreed other people in the group were contributing “gossip, rumour and speculation”.

Under cross-examination, she accepted that other people in the group were also making comments that were “not in particularly good taste”. 

Asked by Brian McConnachie, QC, for the accused, if she would have continued to think his video was a bad joke if he had not been arrested, she replied: “Yes.”

HeraldScotland: Alesha MacPhail, whose body was found on Monday, was a pupil at Chapelside Primary School in Airdrie

The court also heard from another friend of the defendant who said the boy had sent a message to her at about noon on July 2 asking if she had seen anything and if she had walked her dog that morning because she normally went where the child’sAlesha’s body was found.

The friend said: “He started to get anxious and said the police were going to blame it on him.”

He told her police always blamed him for things that happened in that area and he was “going to get arrested”. She said she tried to calm him down and “brushed it off” at the time as she knew he suffered from anxiety but later told police.

The witness also showed police messages he sent her in 2017. One peppered with laughing emojis said he “might kill 1 day for the lifetime experience”.

The “darkly humorous discussion”, as the prosecutors described it, had begun more than 18 months before Alesha’s death, when the girl asked the accused if it was possible to get away with murder “if you had a good plan”. He replied: “Well if it was a gd plan then 100%”.

She later messaged: “I’m glad I’m not at the top of your hit list.” He was said to have replied: “No one is.”

The witness agreed these were theoretical exchanges where she brought up the subject of murder and at the time caused her no concern, saying they both had a dark sense of humour.


Read more: Mother of Alesha MacPhail murder accused 'phoned police after her body was found'

The teenager has lodged a special defence blaming Toni McLachlan – the girlfriend of Alesha’s father Robert MacPhail – for the killing.

On Wednesday, Ms McLachlan told jurors she “loved” Alesha and had nothing to do with her death.

The trial continues next week.