Rikki Neave murder review now with CPS as senior lawyers pore over 9,000 documents assembled by Herts, Cambs and Beds major crime unit
PUBLISHED: 15:03 20 December 2016 | UPDATED: 15:05 20 December 2016
The Crown Prosecution Service will begin the New Year reviewing evidence from 9,000 documents put together by a cold case team hoping to solve the riddle of Rikki Neave's murder.
No decision will be made until that review is complete as to what action – if any- will be taken against James Watson, 35, who was arrested earlier this year on suspicion of the murder of the Peterborough school boy.
Watson remains in Bedford Prison after breaching terms of his earlier release on separate arson charges: he fled the UK and was returned from Portugal after the Herts, Cambs and Beds Major Crimes Unit secured a European Arrest Warrant (EAW).
A Cambs police statement that Watson had “not been asked to return on bail as previously planned for December 20” is correct.
But it is a technicality for he remains in prison.
Rikki’s mother Ruth said she was aware of the suspect’s bail conditions “but in the words of one officer on the case, Watson is remanded and because he’s been brought back on an EAW the police have to let his bail lapse.
“But they’ve also told us ‘there is no prospect of him going anywhere before we get the CPS decision’”.
Mrs Neave said it had been explained to her that because of the EAW police had to do “something slightly different from a normal extension of police bail” and she had been assured it made no difference to the case.
She said police were hopeful of making decisions on the case by mid January but she had also been told because of the complexity of the issues involved this date might well be extended.
Mrs Neave said: “I am confident in what the police have told me. They have explained how a detailed file is now with a senior lawyer from the CPS.
She said: “I have been told it would be unfair to be given a categorical date for answers since the CPS can’t possibly know how long it will take to review all the documents. Police tell me they hope this will be in January and assure me I will be the first to know so I am content for now with that explanation.”
Her husband Gary, who began the campaign to have the 22 year murder case re-opened, said: “Police have assured us they are committed to securing a positive outcome.
“It’s been a long and anxious wait since the case was finally re-opened in June of 2015. Ruth has waited this long for answers but we hope this will be the last Christmas and New Year before we get the answers both of us have waited for – and that is to the question of who murdered Rikki.”