Alesha’s grandfather became visibly emotional as he recalled a police officer telling the family ‘we’ve found her but she’s passed’ during the trial of a teen accused of the six-year-old’s rape and murder.

Householders on the island community of Rothesay often left their doors unlocked, the murdered girl’s grandfather told the court.

Calum MacPhail, the father of Alesha’s dad Robert, fought back tears as he gave evidence.

He said that his partner had left the key in the door the night of the abduction, but that in Rothesay people often left their doors unlocked.

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Mr MacPhail, 49, told the court that his granddaughter would visit the Isle of Bute every second weekend.

On the night she went missing the little girl jumped on the bed, gave him a cuddle and said ‘goodnight Grandpa.’

Mr MacPhail said: “It’s the last time I set eyes on her.”

On the morning of July 2, Mr MacPhail said he awoke to find Alesha’s bedroom door wide open.

He said: “Everyone was panicking.”

Mr MacPhail set out in the car, while his partner dialled 999.

He recalled the family being gathered in a room at the police station, where an officer told them ‘We have found her but she’s passed.’

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While driving, looking for Alesha, Mr MacPhail spotted police taping off the High Street.

He was turned around by officers and told to go home where someone was waiting with information - but back at the house, the police officer on duty told him there was no information.

Alesha’s grandmother, Angela King, told the court: “I loved her, we got on great.”

She said she had left the key on the outside of the door after taking in the laundry the previous evening.

The family searched the house before Ms King dialled 999 to report Alesha missing.

Asked by Mr McSporran how long it took her to report Alesha’s absence to the police, she said : “About five or tens minutes.”

Ms King, 47, said: “I remember Calum calling the police to see what was going on at the woods, because the police officer there wasn’t telling him anything.

“He was getting angry and I could hear him screaming ‘if that’s my granddaughter up there I want to know’.”

Read more: Alesha MacPhail: Images of murdered schoolgirl's body lying in woods shown to jury in Glasgow

After driving into Rothesay to the police station, she said: “The policeman told us ‘sorry we’ve found her but she’s dead’.”

Describing her beloved late granddaughter, Ms King added: “She was a beautiful, happy wee girl.”

Mr MacPhail told the court Alesha would have been capable of opening the front door by herself, but would not have done so.

He said: “She had never shown any inclination of going out by herself.

“Everybody was quite panicky.”