THE mum of a murdered six-year-old schoolboy has said she feels “overwhelmed” and “numb” after a man was charged with his murder today.
James Watson, 38, has been charged the murder of Rikki Neave in Peterborough more than 25 years ago in November 1994.
Rikki was strangled and left for dead, naked, in woodland five minutes’ walk from his home on the Welland Estate in the town.
He had last been seen walking to school the day before and his uniform was found dumped in a nearby bin.
Rikki’s mum Ruth Neave, now 49, was charged with murder but later found not guilty by a jury.
But she admitted charges of child cruelty to Rikki and his two sisters and was sentenced to seven years in prison.
She appealed for information to help catch her son’s killer when she was freed in 2000 and Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit re-launched the inquiry into his murder five years later.
Watson will appear at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court on Thursday to face the charge.
Speaking today Ruth said: ““I am overwhelmed and in truth totally numb. This has always been about getting justice for my son Rikki.
“The news has not yet sunk in.
“It would be inappropriate to comment further but what I am looking forward to is a good night’s sleep. That has been lacking over many many years.”
Assistant Chief Constable Paul Fullwood, who has led the high-profile investigation, said today: “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.”