World Man charged with murdering schoolboy Rikki Neave 25 years ago

22:46  18 february  2020
22:46  18 february  2020 Source:   news.sky.com

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A man has been charged with murdering six-year-old Rikki Neave in Peterborough 25 years ago.

James Watson, 38, is due to appear at Peterborough Magistrates' Court on Thursday over the death of the schoolboy, whose body was found in woodland near his home in Redmile Walk, Welland, on 29 November 1994.

Rikki was last seen leaving for school the previous day.

His uniform was later found dumped in a nearby bin.

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a person posing for the camera: Rikki Neave was killed in 1994© Getty Rikki Neave was killed in 1994

He was discovered naked and a post-mortem found he had been strangled.

Rikki's mother, Ruth, was accused of his murder, but was later cleared and instead found guilty of child neglect and cruelty.

a person wearing glasses: Ruth Neave appealed for new information to catch her son's killer in 2014© PA Ruth Neave appealed for new information to catch her son's killer in 2014

She was jailed for seven years.

Police began re-investigating the case in 2015.

Watson's age means he would have been a teenager at the time of Rikki's death.

On Monday, chief crown prosecutor Chris Long charged James Watson, of no fixed address, with the murder - adding Rikki's family had been notified.

"This decision was made following careful consideration of all the evidence presented to us by Cambridgeshire Constabulary as a result of their cold case review and subsequent lengthy and complex investigation," Mr Long said.

Around the time the investigation was re-opened, Detective Superintendent Paul Fullwood said there had been "major forensic and technological developments and significant changes in the way we approach murder investigations" since the death.

"All murder is tragic but when a young child is involved it is truly devastating.

"We owe it to Rikki and his family to find whoever was responsible for his murder."

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