GREENOCK was the focus of national attention yesterday as a youth accused of raping and murdering six-year-old Alesha MacPhail appeared in court.

Television crews descended on the town to cover the development in the case.

The accused, who is 16-years-old, made no plea to the charges against him during a private appearance on petition before Sheriff Andrew McIntyre.

He has been remanded in custody with matters continued for further examination.

He is due back in the dock of Greenock Sheriff Court next week. 

It is alleged that the schoolboy raped and murdered Alesha on the Isle of Bute earlier this week.

The little girl was found dead in woodland just hours after vanishing from her grandparents’ home on Monday.

The teenage suspect was arrested on Tuesday following a massive appeal for information.