THE girlfriend of Alesha MacPhail’s father has denied meeting with the accused in the middle of the night to have sex during the island girl's murder trial

The Evening Times has already reported how Toni-Louise McLachlan, 18, sobbed as she told a murder trial “I loved her to pieces” - and denied having anything to do with the little girl’s murder.

Ms McLachlan was called as a witness at the trial of a 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, who has blamed her for murdering Alesha.

Ms McLachlan denied meeting the accused in the middle of the night to have sex with him - then taking Alesha to the woods, attacking her and “planting” the teen’s semen from the used condom.

The series of events was put to her by defence, Brian McConnachie, who said she had “brutalised” the little girl using an “implement.”

He asked her if she had sex with the accused in a bus shelter on the Isle of Bute in 2017, saying the teens shared a joint and Ms McLachlan confided in the alleged killer about domestic abuse.

Ms McLachlan denied that had happened.

Mr McConnachie said: “She didn’t scream because a stranger came into the room, it was you.”

Ms McLachlan said: “No.”

READ MORE: Alesha MacPhail murder trial: Father’s girlfriend ‘had a bad feeling’ when accused called on morning girl disappeared

The brief claimed that Ms McLachlan met the accused in secret the night before Alesha disappeared, and confided in the teen about alleged abuse from Mr MacPhail.

He said the pair had walked into a shed where they used a condom provided by Ms McLachlan, and the accused gave her a hoodie because she was cold.

The accused said that was the last time he had seen Ms McLachlan before Alesha was killed, the court heard.

Mr McConnachie accused Ms McLachlan of taking Alesha to the site of an abandoned hotel where the child was murdered and “brutalised” with an “implement”.

He then said the 18-year-old had “planted” the condom with the accused’s semen to implicate him.

Ms McLachlan said: “No.”

She told the court she called the accused on July 2 because she wanted to know why he had called in the middle of the night.

She said: “It was strange the fact he was the only one that messaged in the middle of the night - it was weird.”

READ MORE: Alesha MacPhail: Father’s girlfriend sobs in court as she denies having anything to do with girl’s death

“I was genuinely just wondering why he had wanted.”

The young woman added: “I knew there was a dispute about money but it wasn’t about that, it was because I didn’t want my family to find out.”

And she said there was no significance to the kiss she put at the end of a Facebook message.

When asked by the accused’s brief how it felt to be accused of murder, Ms McLachlan said: “Horrible.

“I don’t know how to take it. I’m sad, I’m angry, I’m full of emotions.”

Alesha’s mother covered her face in the public gallery when the question was asked and left the courtroom when her daughter’s injuries were mentioned.

The High Court in Glasgow heard from the man who found Alesha’s body.

Jorge Williams, 30, recalled being shown pictures on Facebook of the missing child and going out to look for Alesha.

He saw search parties combing the beach, so took a high road.

Mr Williams said he looked up the steps and checked over a wall and saw the girl’s lifeless body.

He told the court he approached her body and checked her neck for a pulse, but there was none.

A police officer called to the scene of Alesha MacPhail’s dead body cried as he recalled finding the little girl's bruised body “a bit rigid”, with blue lips.

Sergeant Martin Wilson gave evidence and said he was led to the scene by Jorge Williams, who found the body.

He put on a pair of gloves before checking the child’s neck for a pulse.

Sgt Wilson said: “Her left arm was a bit rigid.”

He added: “There was bruising to her torso and her lips were blue.”

When asked by advocate depute Iain McSporran QC how the crime had affected him, Sgt Wilson said: “I have a seven-year-old daughter.”

The officer, who was brought over to the Isle of Bute from his usual post on Argyll, told the court he cordoned off the woods with police tape.

He said he was stationed at the scene all day and all night and could only give limited information to the public.

The trial continues.

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