How Did Rikki Neave Die?

Rikki Neave was discovered strangled and murdered in the woods near his Peterborough home by James Watson.


Rikki Neave, six years old, was murdered by a  perverted sexual and a “dangerous predator, fantasist, and manipulator,” according to the verdict.

At the Old Bailey, James Watson, 41, was found guilty of murdering child Rikki by a majority decision.

Rikki Neave's 'teen killer stripped and manipulated six-year-old's body to  create image of death'

Rikki’s mother was originally accused of his murder after a series of missteps by blinkered police, but the real culprit eluded justice for 28 years, according to new evidence.

The coat used to strangle Rikki and the rest of the clothing he was wearing at the time of his death were among 45 critical exhibits lost or discarded by Cambridgeshire Police.

After Watson was found guilty of murdering the six-year-old in the woods near his home, the “record of failures” can now be published.

Despite a plethora of proof to the contrary, Watson, then 13, believed he had gotten away with murder after detectives were convinced that Rikki’s mother was the killer.

Ruth Neave was acquitted of the murder in 1996, but she was sentenced to seven years in prison after admitting to child maltreatment in the case of Rikki and two of his sisters.

After Ms. Neave’s trial, Watson’s attorney Jenni Dempster, QC, told the Old Bailey that some senior police still believed she killed her son.



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