Teenager Aaron Campbell has been sentenced to life with a minimum of 27 years for the abduction, rape and murder of six-year-old Alesha MacPhail.
The 16-year-old was found guilty of the killing at the High Court last month, and admitted to it in background reports following the verdict.
In sentencing, which was streamed live from the court by the BBC, judge Lord Matthews said that Campbell had shown “not a flicker of remorse.”
He described him as a “cold, calculating, remorseless and dangerous individual”, adding that reports said Campbell was “entertained” by the thought of rape and that it took “everything to stop him from laughing” during the trial.
The judge said: “You went into the house and then her bedroom, you removed her from there and took her to a secluded spot where you raped and murdered her in the most brutal fashion.
“It’s difficult to imagine the distress her family must have suffered.”
He sentenced him to life and ordered him to serve at least 27 years behind bars but warned he may never be released.
Cries were heard in the court as the judge spoke, and Alesha’s mother screamed across at an emotionless Campbell after the sentence was read out.
Family members shouted “evil” and “beast” as Campbell was led away to the cells.
Campbell could not be identified during the trial due to his age but following his conviction judge Lord Matthews lifted a ban on revealing his identity.
The teenager took Alesha from her bed as she slept and inflicted horrific injuries before dumping her body in nearby woodland.
Pathologist John Williams told the trial Alesha had 117 separate injuries, and a post-mortem examination indicated she had died from “significant and forceful pressure to her neck and face”.
Alesha was days into her summer holiday with father Robert MacPhail, 26, and grandparents Angela King and Calum MacPhail when she was snatched by Campbell, who tried to blame her father’s girlfriend Toni McLachlan, 18, for the crime.
Prosecutor Iain McSporran said he hoped the guilty verdict would remove any doubt that she could have been involved.
CCTV footage from Campbell’s mother’s own security system provided evidence which helped detectives catch the killer.
His mother had contacted police herself, hoping the footage would eliminate her son from the investigation.
Campbell was captured coming and going from his home several times in the early hours of July 2, removing items of clothing and retrieving a torch.
A psychological evaluation carried out on July 9 and 10 last year highlighted no issues to suggest he was not of sound mind when he murdered Alesha.
At a hearing after the trial ended it emerged the teenager had a history of self harm, anxiety and depression, and has been tested for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Campbell had denied involvement in Alesha’s death throughout his trial, but admitted the crime ahead of sentencing.
Brian McConnachie QC, representing Campbell at the High Court in Glasgow on Thursday, said the 16-year-old had admitted responsibility for the rape and murder of Alesha, six, in background reports ordered by the judge.
He said: “The most striking thing about these reports is that in the reports Mr Campbell has admitted to responsibility for the rape and murder of Alesha MacPhail.”
Mr McConnachie said the psychologist’s report found that Campbell “presents with a range of traits on the psychopathy checklist and also has a wide range of factors present in relation to potential sexually harmful behaviour”.
He said that Campbell’s upbringing was “less than ideal” but that this was not a mitigating factor.
He concluded: “In dealing with this matter I would ask your Lordship to have regard to the fact that in imposing the punishment part at this stage it is a punishment part of a significant length undoubtedly which is being imposed upon a child.”
Mr McSporran referred to a victim impact statement from Alesha’s paternal grandparents Angela King and Calum MacPhail.
He said: “They are utterly devastated and heartbroken. She was a beautiful, kind and thoughtful child who they miss every day.
“They are tortured and tormented by the circumstances of her murder. I think overwhelmed is an understatement.
“They do not see how they can live a normal life. Her future was taken and so was theirs.”