I used to sell him cannabis, court told

Midweek Sport - - NEWS - By COLIN HURST [email protected]­

THE fa­ther of mur­dered school­girl Ale­sha MacPhail sold cannabis to the teen ac­cused of killing her, a court has heard.

Robert MacPhail, 26, told the High Court in Glas­gow he had done deals with the 16-year-old.

Ale­sha, six, was found dead in wood­land in July last year on the Isle of Bute.

She had been spend­ing a sum­mer break with her dad and grand­par­ents in the house they shared.

The ac­cused, who can­not be named be­cause of his age, de­nies tak­ing her from her bed be­fore rap­ing and mur­der­ing her on July 2 last year.

Ale­sha’s fa­ther iden­ti­fied him in the court­room and told the jury: “I used to sell him cannabis.”

Mr MacPhail said he had last sold him the drug a few months be­fore Ale­sha’s death, but stopped af­ter the teen’s mother told his part­ner, Toni McLach­lan, to stop.

The court heard the deals usu­ally took place at a bus shel­ter across from his mum’s house, where he then lived along with Ms McLach­lan, 18.

The pair were in bed on the morn­ing of July 2 when Ale­sha’s grand­par­ents came in to say she was miss­ing, and all four be­gan hunt­ing around the house and out­side for her.

Mr MacPhail said he had put his daugh­ter to bed the night be­fore with a kids’ DVD.

“I told her I would see her in the morn­ing, and that was the last time I saw her,” he said.

Mr MacPhail said that his re­la­tion­ship with Ale­sha’s mother Ge­orgina Lochrane in Coat­bridge, North La­nark­shire, had bro­ken down months af­ter she was born.

He said he saw his daugh­ter ev­ery sec­ond week­end and dur­ing the hol­i­days.

Mr MacPhail said Ale­sha “loved” spend­ing time on his home is­land, go­ing to the beach and play­ing at the park.

The teenager de­nies tak­ing the child from her bed be­fore as­sault­ing and mur­der­ing her.

He also de­nies at­tempt­ing to de­feat the ends of jus­tice by dis­pos­ing of clothes and a knife.

The trial con­tin­ues.

MUR­DERED: School­girl Ale­sha

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