By Joshua Manning • 21 April 2022 • 17:46
Man found guilty of murdering Rikki Neave in 1994 after family's agonising 27 year wait for justice
Credit: Cambridgeshire Police
Rikki Neave, a six-year-old schoolboy, disappeared 27 years ago on 28 November 1994, with his body being discovered the following day in the woods located near his family home in Peterborough. The killer had strangled the young boy and proceeded to lay out the naked body to form a star, as reported by the BBC.
His mother Ruth Neave stood trial for the murder and was cleared by a jury in 1996. Now, after an 11-week trial, 41-year old James Watson, who was 13 years old at the time of the murder, has been convicted for the murder of Rikki Neave, after being found guilty at the Old Bailey Court in London.
Rikki’s sister 30-year-old Rochelle Neave stated that the verdict was a “victory” for the family who had fought for justice to be served. She stated: “He thought he’d got away with it for that many years and thought we were just going to go away and roll under the table. We weren’t.”
Youngest sister 27-year old Sheradyn Neave, who was only a baby when Rikki was murdered, added: “I think we were let down by the police at the time, we were let down by social services, we were let down by everyone who was in our lives who was meant to care.”
Senior Crown Prosecutor at the Crown Prosecution Service, Clare Forsdike stated that the conviction “concludes an appalling unsolved crime almost 30 years after it happened. It brings justice for Rikki.”
“Ultimately a combination of evidence from DNA, post-mortem, soil samples, eyewitness testimony, and his changing accounts proved overwhelming,” she stated. “Only James Watson knows why he did it. He remained silent for two decades and then put Rikki’s family through the agony of a trial.”
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Originally from the UK, Joshua is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]
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