Man convicted of murdering six-year-old boy in 1994 awaits appeal ruling

A 42-year-old man given a life sentence after being discovered responsible of murdering a six-year-old boy almost 30 years in the past is ready for a ruling on an attraction.

James Watson was handed a minimal jail time period of 15 years by a decide in June 2022 after being convicted of killing Rikki Neave following a trial on the Outdated Bailey.

Trial decide Mrs Justice McGowan stated the regulation meant Watson, who was 13 when Rikki was discovered strangled in woods close to his house in Peterborough in November 1994, needed to be handed a minimal time period related to his age on the time of the offence.

Watson was discovered responsible of murdering six-year-old Rikki in 1994 (Handout/PA)

Watson had challenged his conviction at a Court docket of Attraction listening to in London in June 2023.

Three attraction judges – Lord Justice Holroyde, Mr Justice Morris and Decide Angela Morris – are scheduled to ship a ruling on Monday.

Rikki’s mom, Ruth Neave, had been discovered not responsible of his homicide following a trial in Northampton Crown Court docket in 1996 – though she was given a seven-year jail time period after admitting baby cruelty.

Watson, who denied homicide, had been charged after a police chilly case evaluation produced a DNA match eight years in the past.

The Crown Prosecution Service stated a “key piece” of proof in opposition to Watson was “DNA he left” on Rikki’s garments.

Prosecutors stated samples from garments had been taken in 1994 however expertise was not “sufficiently superior” to offer a DNA match till 2015.

Watson had instructed police that he had lifted Rikki so the teenager may see over a fence, prosecutors stated.

Rikki Neave court case

Rikki Neave’s mom Ruth Neave (Ben Kendall/PA)

A barrister main Watson’s authorized workforce had instructed the attraction listening to {that a} “wholesale loss and destruction of proof” meant a good trial was not attainable.

Jennifer Dempster KC stated there had been a “complete disregard” in the direction of preserving reveals within the case.

“The truth we submit was that this was a wholesale loss and destruction of proof, a lot so {that a} honest trial of this applicant is now not attainable,” she had instructed the attraction listening to.

“It closed down utterly any alternative for the defence to discover the potential of different suspects.”

Prosecutors had stated there was no proof that Watson’s case had been affected.

John Worth KC, for the Crown, had instructed attraction judges there was no proof that Watson’s case had been affected.

He stated: “The applicant didn’t exhibit that there was any prejudice prompted to him by the lack of the fabric that has been recognized.

“If there was… we don’t settle for that it was not able to being ameliorated within the normal manner.”

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