Murder suspect visited Rikki Neave’s home, Old Bailey trial hears  

James Watson

Court sketch of James Watson, 40, standing trial at the Old Bailey for the murder of six-year-old Rikki Neave - Credit: PA Media

The man accused of murdering schoolboy Rikki Neave in 1994 had visited his home "a couple of times", a court has heard. 

James Watson allegedly strangled the six-year-old boy in woodland near his home on the Welland Estate in Peterborough and left his naked body posed in a star shape. 

The defendant, who was then aged 13, has been linked to the killing through DNA on Rikki's discarded clothes and sightings on the day he went missing, jurors at the Old Bailey have heard. 

On Monday, Watson's half-brother Andrew Bailey, 54, told jurors that he took him to the Neave family home on a couple of occasions. 

Giving evidence, Mr Bailey told jurors he met Rikki's stepfather Dean Neave in jail and visited his house around eight times, he said. 

Mr Bailey told jurors: "We used to go looking around in his Toyota, we used to go looking for old cars and caravans we could strip down." 

Mr Neave was living with his partner Ruth Neave, her son Rikki and his two younger sisters, the witness said. 

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He told jurors that Watson and his sister accompanied him on the visits "a couple of times". 

He said Watson was aged about 11 or 12 at the time. 

Jennifer Dempster QC, defending, said: "I suggest Mr Bailey whatever relationship you had with Dean and whatever trips you made to Dean's house I don't dispute. 

"I'm going to suggest never - and I mean never - did you take James Watson to Dean Neave's house on Redmile Walk." 

Ms Dempster went on to suggest that Mr Bailey had "distanced" himself from Watson after he told him he was gay at the age of 11. 

She said: "Once you found out he was gay you did not really want to know him. You were not agreeable to his choice of sexuality?" 

Mr Bailey agreed they had a "falling out" and those were his feelings at the time. 

Earlier, Watson's ex-girlfriend told jurors that he would put his hands around her throat when they had sex after meeting in care at the age of 14. 

Under cross-examination, she was asked about letters she had written in later years in which she had told him: "Be straight and I can love you." 

The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, told jurors that she did love Watson and had tried to remain "amicable" after their relationship ended. 

She said: "James has not always had a negative side. James has a negative and a positive. He does have good qualities in himself also." 

Challenged on her allegation he tried to throttle her during sex in woods, she said: "I told him I did not like that and I did not speak to him for a few days after. 

"If you gave me a million letters it will not change the fact James put his hands round my throat when we had sex and he got excited." 

Watson, now aged 40, has denied murder and the trial continues.