A top cop who oversaw the Alesha MacPhail murder case told how it “weighed heavy on her heart” on her retiral.

Chief Superintendent Hazel Hendren, 51, is stepping down after 30 years during which she led many major investigations, including the 2014 Glasgow bin lorry tragedy.

She said: “I was the commander for the Alesha MacPhail murder and that was one I particularly felt.

“It weighed heavy on my heart.

“I had to do the broadcast appeal for that and, when I watch it now, you can see how it impacted me as a person.”

Alesha, six, was abducted from her bed and murdered by 16-year-old Aaron Campbell in Rothesay, Bute, on July 2, 2018.

Hendren added: “That’s similar to the [bin lorry] incident in George Square. All those losses shows how vulnerable life is.”

She also told of being on call the night student nurse Karen Buckley, 24, went missing.

The horrific murder of Alesha MacPhail deeply affected Chief Superintendent Hazel Hendren

Hendren said she still thought of Karen, who was murdered in Glasgow’s west end after a night out with friends in 2015.

She said: “I was on call the night she went missing and the feeling I had was she was not going to turn up.”

Alexander Pacteau, 21, later admitted Karen’s murder.