Man charged with murder of Rikki Neave appears in court

PUBLISHED: 11:09 20 February 2020 | UPDATED: 13:08 20 February 2020

James Watson, 38, who is charged with the 1994 murder of schoolboy Rikki Neave, will appear at the Old Bailey tomorrow morning (Friday February 21). Picture: ARCHANT/FILE

James Watson, 38, who is charged with the 1994 murder of schoolboy Rikki Neave, will appear at the Old Bailey tomorrow morning (Friday February 21). Picture: ARCHANT/FILE

Archant

A 38-year-old man charged with the 1994 murder of schoolboy Rikki Neave will appear at the Old Bailey tomorrow morning (Friday February 21).

Rikki was found dead in woodland a few minutes from his home in Welland, Peterborough, on November 29 1994.

James Watson appeared at Peterborough Magistrates Court this morning (Thursday February 20) after being charged with murder on Monday this week.

The defendant, of no fixed address, would have been 13 years old at the time of Rikki's death.

His naked body was found the following day and his uniform was found dumped in a nearby bin.

He was wearing a green fleece jumper with a check shirt and only spoke to confirm his name. He was not asked to enter a plea.

Magistrate Stephen Hanson remanded Watson to appear before the Central Criminal Courts in London tomorrow.

The case attracted a lot of media attention, with a full press bench in the court room.

Originally Rikki's mother, Ruth, was accused of his 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 it in 2015.

The Crown Prosecution Service said it gave Cambridgeshire Police the authorisation to charge Watson with murder following "careful consideration of all the evidence" following a cold case review.

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