Representatives from Police Scotland have welcomed the jury's guilty verdict in the murder trial of six-year-old Alesha MacPhail. 

A 16-year-old was convicted of abducting, raping and killing Alesha on July 2, 2018 on the Isle of Bute.

Her naked remains were discovered in the grounds of the former Kyles Hydro Hotel on Bute on July 2.

Detective Superintendent Stuart Houston, senior investigating officer, has now said he hopes the verdict brings some comfort to the family. 

He added: “I welcome today’s verdict and hope that it will bring some comfort to the family and friends of little Alesha McPhail who have been through the most horrific ordeal. 

READ MORE: Alesha MacPhail: Teenager found guilty of murder of six-year-old

“Throughout the police investigation and this trial, Alesha’s family have shown incredible bravery in the face of the most appalling circumstances. 

“Alesha’s senseless and barbaric murder shocked the small community on Bute and people across Scotland. The effects of her death are still being felt today. 

“From the moment Alesha was first reported missing – at the start of her summer holidays on Bute - the local community rallied together and did everything they possibly could do help. 

“I would like to again thank everyone who came forward and helped the inquiry team with what was a particularly harrowing case.

During the trial Prosecutor Iain McSporran said this was “one of the worst cases” a jury has had to hear.

DS Houston added: “Investigating any murder is challenging for all the police officers and staff involved. To be faced with the death of a little girl in such a cold and cruel way was extremely difficult for everyone. 

READ MORE: "I will miss you forever": Alesha MacPhail's mum reacts to guilty verdict

“I would like to personally thank all those involved for their professionalism and dedication in bringing the investigation to a swift conclusion. 

“Crimes such as this are extremely rare and I am glad that we have been able to get justice for Alesha and her family.” 

Chief Superintendent Hazel Hendren, divisional commander for Argyll and West Dunbartonshire Division, added: “I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to little Alesha. She was such a beautiful wee girl who was vibrant, funny and much loved. Her family have shown incredible bravery through what has been an unimaginable ordeal. 

"I would also like to thank the local community of Bute who pulled together and did everything they could to help both Alesha's family and the major police investigation which followed. 

"This was an incident which shocked the tight knit community of Rothesay to the core but that community showed strength and determination to assist the police in any way they could and I cannot thank them enough. The response to our appeals was significant, not only from Bute but from across Scotland. 

"Alesha's murder has affected everyone and will continue to do so for a very long time. However the resilience and unity of this community will help it recover in time." 

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