A teenage boy is to stand trial charged with abducting, raping and murdering a six year-old girl.
The 16 year-old - who cannot be named for legal reasons - is accused of killing Alesha MacPhail on the Isle of Bute in July this year.
Alesha’s mother Georgina Lochrane from Airdrie, who is a witness in the case, was given special permission by judge Lady Rae to be present in court to see the proceedings against the teenager accused of murdering her daughter.
The 16-year-old today (Monday) faced the accusations as he made his first public appearance in the dock at the High Court in Glasgow.
Prosecutors allege he was armed with a knife when he took Alesha from her bed at a house in Ardbeg Road in Rothesay, Bute.
It is claimed the boy then carried the schoolgirl to the site of the former Kyles Hydropathic Hotel on the island.
The indictment states he took off Alesha’s clothes, shook her violently before placing his hands over her nose, mouth and around her neck.
The boy is said to have “applied pressure” to her face, inflicted injuries by “means unknown” with prosecutors alleging he went on to rape and murder Alesha.
The teenager then faces a separate charge of attempting to defeat the ends of justice.
It is alleged he went to another house in Ardbeg Road before disposing of the clothes he had worn and then taking a shower to remove blood from his body.
This is said to have been done in a bid to “destroy or conceal evidence”.
The boy’s QC Brian McConnachie today pled not guilty on his behalf.
The advocate said: “He pleads not guilty to both charges on the indictment.”
Both Mr McConnachie and prosecutor Iain McSporran QC told the court they were ready for a trial to be set.
Mr McSporran said: “Trial is expected to last 10 days”
Lady Rae then fixed a trial to begin next February.