/Murdered boys mum ‘overwhelmed’ after man is charged with his 1994 murder

Murdered boys mum ‘overwhelmed’ after man is charged with his 1994 murder

Rikki Neave
James Watson (R) has been arrested over the murder of Rikki Neave 25 years ago (Picture: PA/ Bav Media/SWNS)

The mum of a six-year-old boy who was strangled 26 years ago has said she feels ‘numb’ after a man was charged with his murder.

Ruth Neave, 49, said she was ‘overwhelmed’ following the arrest of James Watson, 38, over the killing of her son Rikki in Peterborough, on November 29, 1994.

The youngster was found dead in woodland a few minutes’ from his home in Redmile Walk.

Originally Ms Neave was accused of Rikki’s murder, but she was later cleared of the killing and instead found guilty of child neglect and cruelty, and jailed for seven years.

In 2014, police looked again at the cold case and began re-investigating in 2015.

Picture supplied by Terry Harris/Bav Media 07976 880732. Picture dated February 17th shows Ruth Neave and husband Gary Rogers.Today police charged James Watson with the murder of her son Rikki Neave who was killed 25 years ago. A man has been charged with murdering a six-year-old schoolboy in Peterborough 25 YEARS ago. James Watson, 38, of no fixed abode, has been charged with the murder of Rikki Neave and is due to appear at Peterborough Magistrates? Court in Cambridgeshire on Thursday (Feb 20). Little schoolboy Rikki was strangled and left for dead, naked, in woodland five minutes? walk from his home on the Welland Estate in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, on November 29, 1994. His mother, Ruth, 45, was charged with his murder but found not guilty by a jury at Northampton Crown Court. SEE COPY CATCHLINE Rikki Neave?s mum numb after man charged murder
Ruth Neave and husband Gary Rogers (Picture: Bav Media)

Undated handout file photo of Rikki Neave, as a 38-year-old man has been charged with murdering the six-year-old schoolboy more than 25 years ago. PA Photo. Issue date: Monday February 17, 2020. James Watson, of no fixed abode, is accused of strangling the youngster, whose body was found in woodland in Peterborough in November 1994. See PA story POLICE Rikki. Photo credit should read: PA/PA Wire
Rikki Neave was killed in 1994 (Picture: PA)

Ms Neave said: ‘I am overwhelmed and in truth totally numb. This has always been about getting justice for my son Rikki.

She added: ‘Today’s news is welcome but it is only part of a much longer journey that still has some way to run.

‘I would also like to place on record the love and support of my husband Gary.

‘I cannot express fully how much I love him and the work he has put in to make the events of today possible.’

FILE PIC - James Watson. See Masons copy SWCAneave: 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.
James Watson has been charged with Rikki’s murder (Picture: SWNS)

Rikki had disappeared after leaving home to walk to school at about 9am the previous day.

His uniform was found dumped in a nearby bin and tests later confirmed he’d been strangled.

Chief Crown Prosecutor Chris Long added: ‘Following the death of Rikki Neave in Peterborough in November 1994, the Crown Prosecution Service has today authorised Cambridgeshire Constabulary to charge James Watson, 38, with murder. Rikki Neave’s family have been informed.

‘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.’

Watson, of no fixed address, will appear at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

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