Alesha MacPhail's killer Aaron Campbell has had his sentence reduced by three years after winning his appeal. 

Campbell was found guilty of murdering and raping 6-year-old Alesha MacPhail on the Isle of Bute on July 2 last summer.

The 17-year-old had his term reduced from 27 years to 24 following an appeal against the jail term heard at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh

Alesha was abducted from her grandparents’ home on the Isle of Bute and her body was found in the woods several hours later.

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HeraldScotland:

Three of the country’s top judges have now reduced the minimum term he will serve before being considered for parole by three years. 

Solicitors for Campbell used the case of Luke Mitchell, who murdered his girlfriend Jodi Jones when he was just 15, to back up their appeal that the sentence was "excessive and amounts to a miscarriage of justice" due to his age. 

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The ruling from Lord Drummond Young, Lord Menzies and Lord Justice Clerk said: "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.

HeraldScotland: Georgina Lochrane, Alesha’s mother, at the High Court in Edinburgh (Andrew Milligan/PA)Georgina Lochrane, Alesha’s mother, at the High Court in Edinburgh (Andrew Milligan/PA)

"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'."

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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.
Campbell was linked into the courtroom via video, showing no emotion during the hearing.

It means that Campbell will now be 40 when he can be considered for release - a day which his solicitor said: "may never come". 

The victim's mother, Georgina, had just this month set up a new charity - Alesha's Beaming Smile - to commemorate her daughter.

She had previously branded Campbell a 'rat' after his appeal bid was granted in May.