Cambridgeshire

Rikki Neave: Trial set for 1994 schoolboy murder accused

Rikki Neave Image copyright Cambridgeshire Police
Image caption Rikki Neave was found strangled and naked in woodland in Peterborough

A man charged with the murder of a six-year-old boy who was found strangled in woodland 25 years ago will face a trial in October, a judge has said.

Rikki Neave disappeared after leaving his Peterborough home on the morning of 28 November 1994. His naked body was found the following day.

James Watson, 38, appeared via video-link at the Old Bailey. No plea was entered but a trial date was set.

The defendant would have been 13 at the time of Rikki's death.

Mr Watson, of no fixed address, was charged on Monday with murdering the schoolboy, and appeared before magistrates in Peterborough the following day.

Image copyright Julia Quenzler
Image caption James Watson is accused of murdering Rikki in Peterborough between 28 and 29 November 1994

Mr Watson spoke only to confirm his identity and was remanded into custody at the Old Bailey.

The judge Mr Justice Edis set a trial date of 5 October.

Rikki's mother, Ruth Neave, was tried for his murder in 1996 and cleared of the killing, but was jailed for seven years after pleading guilty to child neglect.

On the 20th anniversary of Rikki's death, the case was reviewed by a cold case team and the investigation was reopened in 2015.

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