/Man charged with 1994 schoolboy murder

Man charged with 1994 schoolboy murder

Rikki NeaveImage copyright
Cambridgeshire Police

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Rikki Neave was found strangled in woodland in Peterborough in 1994

A man has been charged with murdering a six-year-old boy 25 years ago.

Rikki Neave was last seen leaving his Welland estate home in Peterborough on the morning of 28 November 1994. His naked body was found strangled in woodland nearby.

Police began re-investigating the schoolboy’s death in 2015.

James Watson, 38, of no fixed address, has been charged with his murder and will appear before magistrates in Peterborough on Thursday.

Rikki was last seen leaving his home in Redmile Walk for school at about 09:00 GMT.

His body was found the next day in a wooded area about a five-minute walk away.

His school uniform was found dumped in a bin close to the scene.

A post-mortem examination concluded that Rikki died as a result of being strangled.

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PA Media

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Police on the scene shortly after the murder of Rikki Neave

Rikki’s mother Ruth Neave was cleared of his murder at a trial in 1996, but she was jailed for seven years after pleading guilty to child neglect.

A Crimewatch appeal broadcast on the 20th anniversary of his death led officers to release an e-fit of two teenage boys they wanted to talk to in connection with the case.

The pair had been seen walking out of the woods where Rikki’s body was found on the morning of 29 November.

Assistant Chief Constable Paul Fullwood said: “The cold case review into Rikki’s murder was undertaken by the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit in 2014.

“We began re-investigating the case in 2015 and following extensive investigative work, we have now been authorised by the Crown Prosecution Service to charge James Watson in connection with his death.”

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