VIDEO: Ruth Neave waits as police ask for extra time to complete initial cold case review into her son Rikki’s murder 20 years ago

Ruth Neave and her husband Gary

Ruth Neave and her husband Gary - Credit: Archant

A cold case review team looking at the murder 20 years ago of six year-old Rikki Neave has delayed publishing its initial findings because of the volume of documents it has been examining.

The team – working for the Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire major crimes unit- had planned to update Rikki’s mother Ruth at the end of last month.

But Det Supt Paul Fullwood, head of the major crimes unit, says it will now be May before he is able to announce the outcome of his preliminary review.

Det Supt Fullwood launched the cold case review in October and earlier this year revealed police were trawling through 700 statements, 456 documents and 902 messages from the original murder inquiry in 1994.

He has now told Mrs Neave and her husband Gary: “I have given you both an assurance that I would update you further by the end of March which is what I intended to do.

“I haven’t sent you any other updates as I can’t discuss the detail until the review is concluded which I am sure you will both understand the reasons why.”

He added: “I do appreciate this is an emotive situation and that you would wish to know more than I can currently give you, however please be reassured this is the most comprehensive review ever undertaken and when it is completed you will be the first to know the outcome as I have promised.

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“I do understand you wish for this to be completed much sooner and for context I have dedicated the same resources to complete this review to ensure we don’t miss anything, leave no stone unturned and I have asked for some additional work to be completed too.

“I am hoping this will be completed by May and will update you if this is completed sooner.”

Mrs Neave, who stood trial but was acquitted of Rikki’s murder, has spearheaded a two year campaign to have the case re-investigated. Both she and her husband Gary believe that, with the access they’ve gained to trial statements and documents, they have uncovered discrepancies in the original case.

Mrs Neave said: “I am hoping Paul Fullwood is thoroughly investigating everything and I just hope he does right thing and re open the case.”

She said a recent email from him referred to “teams” now involved in the case and felt that “yes, which is encouraging. I hope they do a good job and find out who killed Rikki”.

Mrs Neave added: “I have waited for over 20 years for the truth to emerge. My son died and that is unforgivable.

“The torment and heartache I have suffered in all these years needs to be put to bed properly for Rikki’s sake as well as mine.

“It is torture for me, as I wake, as I go to bed, its heart wrenching and I am barely coping with all of this.”

She has emailed Supt Fullwood to tell him: “I certainly do not want sympathy from you but some consideration would be nice.

“I respect your wishes and I will help any way I can. I know you are doing the right thing and definitely we all want justice for my little Rikki. I have been waiting for this for so long it kills me.

“There are a load of disturbing factors surrounding the case and I know you will dig for every single one of them and investigate every nook and cranny of it all. I can’t be any fairer than that.”

She told me that with her husband’s help they were themselves spending most days going through evidence from both the trial itself and other papers connected with her sentencing for child abuse to which she pleaded guilty and was jailed for seven years.

“There is much that has always concerned and only now, with access to all the papers from the proceedings, can I see in black and white what people said and claimed. Much of it is a lie and we have the evidence to prove it. Looking back I was in the dark about a lot of stuff that was said and written.”

She said she had also discovered that many letters and cards sent from prison to her other children – who were taken away and adopted- never got through to them. Some of those cards and letters have turned up in files obtained from her trial solicitor.

“I am horrified to find that cards that should have been sent never got delivered even though I was repeatedly told at the time that they had,” she said.

“That’s unfair. I had put my heart and soul into them.”

Mrs Neave believes the possibility of Rikki’s death being a ‘Bulger style’ killing may have been overlooked. In statements on the defence team’s files are those which show two sexual assaults on young boys on the Welland estate, Peterborough, within six months of Rikki’s death. There is also evidence of other children being assaulted in the previous two years.

Mrs Neave said moving from March to Peterborough the year before Rikki was murdered “turned out to be the worst mistake of my life”.

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