A man on trial for the murder of a six-year-old boy nearly 30 years ago has told an Old Bailey jury how his DNA got on the dead boy’s clothes.
James Watson, 40, is accused of killing Rikki Neave in November 1994, when Watson was just 13 years old. Rikki’s naked body was found in the woods a five-minute walk from his home in Peterborough. Watson’s DNA was allegedly found on Rikki’s clothes and he was charged with murder in February 2020. He denies the charge.
Rikki’s mother, Ruth Neave, who reported Rikki missing the night before his body was found, was initially charged with her son’s murder, but she was acquitted in 1996. , she was found guilty of cruelty to children and sentenced to seven years in prison. .
Watson was interviewed during the initial murder investigation but “did not mention” to police that he “picked up” Rikki the day he died, said Guardians.
In his statement at the time, Watson said he had arrived at the property where Rikki lived and was watching the construction workers “when Rikki approached him at 12:30pm.” ITV News reported.
“He said he spent four minutes with Rikki and only remembered years later that he picked him up at the meeting,” the announcer continued. Watson said he chose Rikki to “see the craftsmen at work”.
‘Short life is brutal’
At the trial of Ruth Neave in 1996, “it was revealed that Rikki’s short life was brutal”, saying Time. “Jurors were given details of extensive abuse, including Mrs Neave laughing when a friend hanged him by the ankles on a bridge and she beat him and shook him and kicked him out. out at night to buy amphetamines that she will inject.”
The murder investigation was reopened almost 20 years later according to the BBC in 2015 Crime Clock appeal, which led to reports that Rikki was seen with two teenage boys. At the time, the Cambridgeshire Constabulary said it “strongly believes” that the key to finding its killer lies with the public.
“To think that someone took my brother – part of my family – and is still hanging around with a life of lies is unbelievable,” his sister told him. BBC.
That same year, a “DNA breakthrough”, as Guardians described it, revealing a consistent result for Watson on Rikki’s clothing using techniques not available in the mid-1990s.
In particular, “scientific testing was carried out on the adhesive tapes applied to the outer layer of Rikki’s clothes in 1994”, the newspaper said. This proves that Watson was “in close physical contact with the clothes Neave was wearing when he was murdered”.
Only then, when interviewed by police in 2015, did Watson mention that he had had an affair with the six-year-old on the day of his death, the court heard.
The jury was also told that Watson was living in a care home at the time of Rikki’s death. This is because his father, a serving policeman, was arrested and later jailed and he cannot live with his mother because of the person she is living with.
‘The grotesque hobby of killing children’
Prosecutor John Price QC told the jury that Watson “expressed a grotesque interest in the topic of child murder in general, including things told to his biological mother” at the time of Rikki. murdered.
Price says that “immediately after the murder, even amid widespread local interest, his teachers noted in him a conspicuous preoccupation with the widespread reporting of his fate. Rikki Neave”.
The court also heard that Watson cared about animals and his care home manager told how a pheasant carcass had been found “fragmented” in his room, BBC reported.
The care home manager said she also found “magazines related to children and toddlers, infants, mainly clothing-underwear”.
Price also told the jury that the mother of a friend of Rikki’s reported that her son, then five years old, had told her he had been inappropriately touched by Watson. According to Price, she told a social worker and Watson was later interviewed but denied inappropriately touching the boy.
Rikki’s mother cross-checked
As part of the current trial, Watson’s defense attorney, Jennifer Dempster QC, cross-examined Ruth Neave via video link about her admission of cruelty to children in 1996.
Dempster suggested that Rikki “bear his mother’s cruelty”, saying BBC, and that Neave “is said to have kept Rikki upside down on a bridge when he screamed”. The lawyer suggested that Neave “grab Rikki by the neck and push him against the wall” as punishment for “naughty behavior”. Neave denied the events had happened.
The trial continued.
https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/crime/955926/what-happened-to-rikki-neave What happened to Rikki Neave?