ALESHA MacPhail’s killer Aaron Campbell could get a new identity like Jon Venables amid warnings he has a “price on his head”, a legal expert has said.
Scottish courts took the decision to unmask Campbell, 16, due to the “revulsion” of his crimes – despite him being protected by law due to his age.
His name had also already been outed on social media despite warnings from cops.
Alesha, 6, was left with “catastrophic” injuries as she was raped and murder by Campell who snatched her from her bed on the Isle of Bute.
The killer is due to be sentenced this month, and legal expert Paul Summerbell has said the courts could decide to give him a new identity if he is released.
British courts have rarely taken the decision to mask killers’ IDs, including James Bulger killers Venables and Robert Thompson.
It is estimated costs for a new identity can be around £250,000, a bill which is footed by the taxpayer.
The orders are taken to both aide rehabilitation and to protect the offenders from harm, amid fears to vigilante justice.
Campbell’s QC Brian McConnachie claimed the teen has already suffered threats to his life and said he has a “price on his head”.
And his legal team pointed to a history of self harm, anxiety and depression in a bid to stop the process of identifying him.
Speaking to Daily Star Online, Summerbell, a leading family solicitor, said the public has a “right to know” his ID.
The lawyer, who has more than 17 years’ experience handling legal cases relating to children and family, added however the high profile nature of his crimes might led to him being targeted.
He said: “There is reasonably a sense of public revulsion at this crime. If he is ever to be released, without anonymity the law would expose him to harm. Many might think that is a just result.
“However, ironically, the same factors that persuaded the court to release his identity now may also act in favour of the argument to grant him anonymity if he were ever considered for release from prison, namely, public revulsion, retribution, revenge.”
Lifetime anonymity orders are very rare under British law, and have only been handed out four times.
Bulger killers Venables and Thompson are two, and Mary Bell and Maxine Carr are the others.
Child killer Bell was just 11 when she strangled two young boys, 4, and 3, and has been living with her identity protected by the courts since 1980.
Carr was the girlfriend who Ian Huntley, who was granted anonymity to protect her from threats from members of the public.
Summerbell said: “[Campbell] will be locked up for a very long time and so does not present any immediate risk to the public.
“Perhaps his incarceration was a motivating factor [for naming him] as he is free from public harm in prison.”
He added: “This was a truly ghastly crime and given its exceptional nature perhaps that was enough to persuade the court that his identify should be released.
“I feel sure that public pressure would have played its part consciously or unconsciously.”
Campbell is facing a life sentence for killing Alesha while she was visiting her grandparents on the Isle of Bute – committing some of the “wickedest, most evil crimes”.
Alesha had suffered more than 117 injuries and denied from “significant pressure” to her face and neck – with Campbell dumping the naked body in woodland.
The wannabe YouTuber was described as having a “dark sense of humour” – and had once told a female friend he might kill one day for the “lifetime experience”.
After Alesha’s body was discovered, he produced a selfie-style video in which he revealed his reflection in a mirror with a caption: “Found the guy who done it.”