Rikki Neave murder case sensation: Police reveal forensic experts to carry out urgent tests on items connected to the inquiry
- Credit: Archant
Crucial evidence pinpointed only recently is being sent for urgent forensic tests in the 23 year-old unsolved murder of Rikki Neave.
The Cambridgeshire hub of the three counties major crimes unit revealed the 11th hour twist in their ongoing investigation to the boy’s mother Ruth.
“Items have been sent for expedited examination which means they are given a high priority in getting examined,” a senior member of the unit told Mrs Neave.
“The knock on means there will be a further delay until we get these back.”
The officer told Mrs Neave – acquitted in 1996 of murdering her six year old son – that “the further forensic opportunity has been identified and requires scientific analysis and consideration of the
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He assured her: “The work is being expedited prior to any final decision. Police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) continue to work closely together
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before any final decision is made.”
The revelation has surprised Mrs Neave who has been anxiously waiting for the outcome of the recent police inquiry.
She said the waiting had continued to affect her
health “and I am ill and need to take tablets each day to function. It is very frustrating.”
Her husband Gary, who led the campaign with this newspaper to get the case re-opened, said “yet another police deadline has come and gone.
“I can now count them on all my fingers and toes. The police tell Roo (Ruth) that the CPS has it and they will know by so and so date. The date comes and goes.
“The police have not a clue what is going on and how this is affecting Roo’s health.
“I worry back to 23 years ago, when every thing possible was done to twist and hide evidence; I hope this is not another case of that happening.
He said his wife’s health “is at an all time low and is getting worse with all these dead lines coming and going.
“I am now starting to think that this will never be solved, and that another cover up is coming.”
For months a report by the major crimes unit has rested with the Treasury Counsel, a specialist department appointed by the Attorney General to handle the most serious and complex cases. It is separate from the CPS although they may be instructed by the CPS in the same way that the CPS instructs members of the independent Bar.
Det Chief Supt Paul Fullwood, who headed the major crimes until his recent promotion to assistant chief constable, has told Ruth that “this will always be a really tricky case as it was many years old and high profile”.
He said that both he and all the team “really want to solve this case and bring justice for Rikki more than any we’ve ever been involved with previously”.
Rikki was found strangled near his home on the Welland estate, Peterborough, in November 1994.
His mother, who lived in March for some years before moving to Peterborough, was later charged but acquitted of his murder. She was sentenced to seven years prison for child cruelty and her remaining family were placed in care.
The one suspect now in the frame is James Watson, 35, who fled England a year ago after being arrested and then bailed in connection with the murder.
He was subsequently extradited and returned to prison – at the time he was on a lifetime licence for burning down a British Transport Police office in Peterborough.
Ruth Neave added: “The Treasury Counsel have had this case for months and its deadline after deadline.
“I am getting things told to me that don’t make sense, things that should have been done earlier for instance such as the forensics report.”
“I honestly don’t know any more in what’s going on,” she said.
“I know this is a complex case okay but treating me like an idiot and just saying stuff to keep me at bay has not helped”. She hopes to meet CPS lawyers.