FAR right troll Katie Hopkins has been criticised after using the murder of a six year old girl on the Isle of Bute to stir up racial hate.

The former Apprentice contestant tweeted two seperate newspaper cuttings, one showing an increase in sexual crimes in Argyll and Bute, and another about Syrian refugees moving to Rothesay.

Hopkins, who thrives on being controversial, was seemingly trying to suggest the Syrians were responsible for the murder of Alesha MacPhail.

"For an island with close to zero crime, there has been a recent disturbing trend on the Isle of Bute, Scotland," she tweeted.

Not that it will have bothered Hopkins, but her facts were simply wrong.

The rise in sexual crimes was from 2014, and was a reference to the whole of Argyll and Bute, rather than just the small Isle of Bute.

The first of the Syrian refugees didn't arrive in Rothesay until 2015.

Local MSP Michael Russell tweeted: "This is vile - an awful, divisive, hate filled lie which is very painful to those already suffering. #ArgyllandBute is a big area, there is no evidence of rising crime of any sort on the island and no information as yet on what actually happened."

Kirsty Wallace, who lives on Bute tweeted Hopkins: "Our island dont need you spouting rubbish. This situation is horrific and has shocked and broken our hearts in our community. Have a bit of respect, friends and family and our community are grieving."

Alesha was reported missing on Monday morning while staying with relatives in Rothesay.

Her body was later found in woodland by a member of the public.

Police Scotland confirmed late on Tuesday night that they are treating her death as murder. They have not specified how she died, and have not indicated that they have a positive line of enquiry.

Detectives are keen to speak to anyone involved in the search for Alesha, a pupil at Chapelside Primary School in Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, while local officers urged island residents to be vigilant about the safety of their children and the security of their homes.

Detective Superintendent Stuart Houston said: "Alesha's family is utterly devastated and we are continuing to provide them with the support they require at this incredibly distressing time.

"Alesha had lots of friends who will no doubt find it very difficult to comprehend why they will never see their friend again.

"Like any other six-year-old, Alesha was looking forward to enjoying her holidays from primary school and was only a few days into a three-week summer break visiting relatives on the island.

"For such a young girl to have her life taken away is incomprehensible."

He added: "I would like to reiterate that I am particularly interested in speaking to anyone who was involved in the search for Alesha. What did they see? Where did they search? Please let us know.

"Did you see anyone acting suspiciously in the vicinity of Ardbeg Road, where she was staying on Sunday evening, into the early hours of Monday morning or where her body was found? Please get in touch."

Houston told a media conference on Tuesday night: "We have officers supporting the family who are providing us with information and it's about trying to find if anyone else has been in Ardbeg Road from late Sunday evening to the early hours of Monday and may be able to shed that bit of light for us."

Alesha was reported missing at around 6.25am and her body was found less than three hours later in woodland on the site of a former hotel in Ardbeg Road.

A forensic team arrived at a property on the street on Tuesday afternoon, where flowers, teddies and balloons have been left on the pavement.

Alesha's headteacher Wendy Davie described the pupil, who had just left Primary Two, as a "smiley, happy young girl".

Anyone with information is asked to call officers at the major investigations teams via 101, quoting incident no 0695 of 2 July 2018