Rikki Neave’s sister breaks down as she tells killer ‘You finally got your comeuppance’

James Watson, 41, has been sentenced to life in prison with a minimum sentence of 15 years for killing little Rikki Neave in the woods near his Peterborough home in 1994 – Rikki’s sister described his death as “losing the other half of me “.

Rikki Neave was murdered in November 1994
Rikki Neave was murdered in November 1994

The sister of a six-year-old murder victim faced his killer in court today and told him ‘you finally got your comeuppance’ as he was jailed.

James Watson, 41, has been sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 15 years for killing little Rikki Neave in the woods near his Peterborough home.

Rikki’s sister, Rebecca Maria Harvey, said her brother had finally received justice – three decades after his assassination on November 28, 1994.

Rebecca broke down today while speaking outside the Old Bailey during Watson’s sentencing.

Addressing the killer without giving his name, she said, “After all these years of living your life… finally get your compensation and Rikki Lee Harvey finally gets justice.”







James Watson, 41, has been sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 15 years for killing little Rikki Neave
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Rochelle Neave, 30, is one of Rikki’s sisters
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Paying tribute to her brother, she added: “Even though I was the eldest, it wasn’t as he would take care of me.

“Losing Rikki was like losing the other half of me.

“I still wake up every day and think it was a nightmare. I never had a brother that I grew up with.

“Rikki is the one that’s not here and lost his life, but the impact this has had on me and my family is just infinite.”







James Watson as a child
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Rikki Neave was killed a mile from home
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She added: “I just can’t understand what happened or why.

“It was so traumatic not knowing what happened to him or why. I didn’t just lose Rikki, I lost my entire family.

“I miss him so much. All of our lives were turned upside down and since then nothing has been the same.

“After all these years, it’s time for Rikki to get justice.”







Ruth Neave, mother of Rikki Neave
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Rikki’s mother, Ruth Neave was originally charged with killing him, but was acquitted in a 1996 trial.

She was convicted of child abuse.

Watson was only caught when his DNA was identified on the victim’s clothing following a re-examination of the case two decades after Rikki’s death.

He was originally questioned by police in the days after the Peterborough murder but gave a false alibi.

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The Old Bailey also heard a victim testimony from Rochelle Orr, one of Rikki’s younger sisters.

She said: “I was only three years old when Rikki was murdered and removed from my family. After entering the foster care system, I suffered from severe mental health problems.

“I remember Rikki feeding me, washing me and helping me with my clothes.

“He missed so much of our lives, happy times we had. I also wonder what he would be like if he were still here, but unfortunately I will never know because he was taken from me.”







James Watson was found guilty of Rikki’s murder
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Ms Orr spotted Watson in the dock.

Mother Ruth did not attend the sentencing today, although her victim impact testimony was read in court.

“Rikki was the most beautiful person ever. I miss all his cheekiness, his laughter,” she said.

“Why would anyone kill such a beautiful child? I know I hit him when he was naughty but I hated it. I couldn’t tell him about it without something.”







Sheradyn (left) and Rochelle Neave, sisters of murdered schoolboy Rikki Neave
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“Yes, I used to yell and swear at him, but that never killed him, did it?

“My Rikki was a little cracker – I couldn’t have asked for a better son, he was adorable. I love you with all my heart and soul, he was my soul mate.

“I had my children snatched from my arms in the middle of the night because the police were so adamant that I had killed Rikki and would then kill my daughters.







This is the wooded area where Rikki’s body was found in November 1994
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“I feel dead inside, he was the only son I had. Rikki’s murder has left a huge hole in our lives and in our hearts.

“I miss him so much it feels like my heart has been ripped out.”

Jennifer Dempster QC, who defended Watson, said her client’s most significant mitigating factor was his age at the time of the offence.







Rikki Neave was wearing this jacket when he was killed
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She also said there were “particularly delicate matters” in Watson’s life – which were not aired in court – that left him vulnerable and he was taken into custody in 1993 after being assaulted by his father.

She said: “The defendant himself was a victim at the hands of others.

“The defendant’s education and general childhood was marred by being abandoned by a multitude of adults in his life who should not have.”

Ms Dempster added: “That was a young man – a little boy – who really had no stability in his life.”

She added that there was “in no way, shape or form” evidence that Watson sexually assaulted Rikki.

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/rikki-neaves-sister-breaks-down-27318456 Rikki Neave's sister breaks down as she tells killer 'You finally got your comeuppance'

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