Family of murdered schoolboy Rikki Neave tell of relief after 41-year-old convicted of his murder 27 years ago
The family of schoolboy Rikki Neave - also known as Rikki Lee Harvey - told of their relief that justice had finally been served after James Watson was convicted of his murder 27 years ago.
Watson, 41, of no known address, was just 13 when he strangled six-year-old Rikk in woodland on the Welland Estate in Peterborough on November 28, 1994, leaving his naked body posed with legs and arms outstretched, before discarding the boy’s clothing in a wheelie bin nearby. He will be sentenced on May 9.
Following the conviction today (April 21) at the Old Bailey, Rikki’s aunties, Sandra Chestney and Alison Harvey - sisters of Rikki’s late father - issued a statement on behalf of the extended paternal family, including Rikki Lee Harvey's father Trevor and sister Rebecca, saying: “We would like to sincerely thank everyone involved who have worked tirelessly, patiently and with commitment to ensure the conviction of James Watson for the murder of our Rikki.
“This is a day we feared would never come, 27 years is a long time to grieve without closure. Taking its toll on the whole family then and now.
“Sadly, Rikki's dad Trevor passed away not knowing what happened to his 'Best Boy in the World', now they can finally both be at peace together.”
Rebecca Harvey, who was Rikki’s sister and daughter of Ruth Neave and Trevor Harvey, added: “You have all known Rikki as Rikki Neave - I’d like to address Rikki by his correct name - Rikki Lee Harvey.
“Sadly, Rikki’s dad and my dad, Trevor, is no longer with us to see his son’s justice. But I’d like to say nothing will bring Rikki back, but Rikki has finally received some justice today and we are all relieved. Although this day is a painful reminder of the loss we have all suffered, justice has finally been served.
“It’s the outcome we wanted. The defendant has been convicted, finally.
“We are grateful for this case being heard again, considering the complexities through to the end and we would like to thank the jury and, the majority of the police, who never gave up in the new investigation.
“Our Rikki - your beautiful blue eyes and cheeky smile will never be forgotten, and you will always be by our side. Rikki Lee Harvey - the best boy in the world.”
In a family statement, Rochelle and Shelley Neave, Rikki’s younger sisters, said: “We as a family praise the guilty verdict now that Rikki has got his justice he deserves after so many years. He can now rest in peace, and we have closure.
“We are glad nobody else’s family has to suffer at the hands of his killer and the streets will also be safer for our communities. It will never take the pain away from what Rikki suffered but justice has been rightly served. We love you so much Rikki sleep tight little man you will always be in our hearts and never forgotten.”