James Watson, a 41-year-old child killer, was given a life sentence with a minimum of 15 years in prison for the 1994 slaying of Rikki Neave, a six-year-old kid.
In order to fulfill a “morbid fantasy” he had mentioned to his mother three days prior, 13-year-old James Watson lured Rikki the kid to the woods close to his Peterborough home and strangled him.
He “exhibited” himself purposefully close to a young child’s den in the woods after stripping Rikki and posing his naked body in the shape of a star.
The age of the defendant when the crime was committed heavily influenced the sentencing.
Rikki was a child who was far too keen to engage and trust others, according to the judge at the Old Bailey, Mrs. Justice McGowan.
“He was never given the opportunity to experience happiness or live a fulfilled life. His murder prevented him from having that chance.
Before Watson’s DNA was found on the victim’s garments when the case was reexamined two decades later, Rikki’s murder was one of the most well-known cold cases in police records.
Mother-of-four Ruth Neave was found not guilty of her son’s murder in 1996, but she was sentenced to seven years in prison after confessing to child maltreatment. Many years after her release, she is reportedly considering appealing this conviction.
She missed the sentencing hearing in court.
She stated in a witness statement that was read on her behalf that the murder had “rippled out far and wide” like stones in a pond.
The death of Rikki “leaves a huge void in our lives and in our hearts.
I miss him so much that it feels as though my heart has been torn out.
The oldest sister of Rikki, Rebecca Maria Harvey, sobbed as she addressed the court.
Even though I was the oldest, she added, it wasn’t like that because dad would take care of me.
“Losing Rikki was like losing half of me,” the speaker said.
“After all these years of living your life, you finally get your comeuppance, and Rikki Lee Harvey finally receives justice,” she continued, addressing Watson without using his name.
This article will be updated going forward.