Murdered Alesha’s mum explains heartbreaking way she told little sister she died

The grief-stricken mum of murdered Alesha MacPhail has described the heartbreaking moment she told the girl’s younger sister that her beloved sibling wasn’t coming back home.

Six-year-old Alesha was raped and murdered after she was snatched from her bed while visiting her grandparents on the Isle of Bute, Scotland, in July last year.

Before she went on holiday, she and her sibling Courtney, four, hugged and said they were "best sisters for life", their devastated mum Georgina Lochrane said.

She told the Daily Record that after Alesha’s death she had to gently break the news to Courtney that she would never see her sister again – and is preparing for the day when Courtney starts asking what happened.

Ms Lochrane, who wants to visit her daughter’s killer in prison, said: “We’ve tried to explain it like Alesha has closed her eyes and didn’t wake up but I don’t think it will be long before she starts asking what happened.

"How can you explain that to her?

"Her sister went away on holiday and she’s never seen her again."

The mum said she wanted to join Alesha in death but Courtney saw her through her darkest days.

She recalled the moment the sisters hugged on the sofa and said they loved each other on the sofa in their Airdrie home shortly before Alesha left with her dad for the Isle of Bute.

Ms Lochrane said: "They were hugging each other and saying they were ‘best sisters for life’.

"They adored each other and were each other’s world.

“Alesha was just being Alesha that day, bouncing about into every room getting changed 50 million times.

“This was the first big holiday over in Rothesay so she was excited to go.

"It was a new adventure for her.”

It was the last time the mum saw her eldest daughter alive.

Days later, Ms Lochrane woke up with a feeling in her stomach, like she hadn’t seen Alesha in years.

Within hours, Ms Lochrane saw a screen grab of a cousin’s Facebook post saying Alesha was missing.

She added: "I thought it was a joke.

"I went on to the post and started reading the comments and that’s when I started seeing people saying they were sorry for her loss.”

The frantic mum left a comment on the post reading: “Someone tell me what’s happened, that’s my daughter.”

Alesha’s body had been found in woodland behind a former hotel that morning after she was abducted overnight at her grandparents’ house in Rothesay.

Police told her the body of a child matching Alesha’s description had been found.

Ms Lochrane said: “I didn’t believe she was dead. I believed she was still out there somewhere and her mummy could find her.”

She had to identify her daughter’s body and was later told by police the girl had been raped and murdered.

Her grief was overwhelming and she said she got through it thanks to Courtney.

Ms Lochrane said: "If I didn’t have Courtney, I wouldn’t be here.

"I would have been with Alesha in a heartbeat.

"But Courtney needs protected now.

"Courtney is everything to me and more. She has taken on the role of Alesha almost.

"It’s like the two of them are still there in the one child."

Last month, Ms Lochrane’s strength was on display as she went to court every day to watch the trial of her daughter’s killer.

A jury found Aaron Campbell, 16, guilty of rape and murder unanimously after a nine-day trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

He is due to be sentenced on March 21.

Ms Lochrane said she wishes he could be sentenced to death, but she wants to visit him in prison.

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