23 February 2024 5:40 PM
Sharon Henderson arrives at Newcastle Crown Court this morning for the trial of David Boyd, 54, who is accused of murdering her seven year old daughter Nikki Allan

A neighbour accused of brutally murdering a seven-year-old girl 31 years ago was trusted so much by her she ‘skipped’ with him unwittingly to her death, a court heard today.

David Boyd, 55, allegedly gave a false alibi at the time and was ‘by his own admission’ the last person to see schoolgirl Nikki Allan alive in October 1992.

Newcastle Crown Court was told for no apparent reason Boyd ‘lured’ Nikki away to her death.

A witness saw the girl with him and ‘unwittingly skipping to her death’ as they headed away from home to a disused building.

Screams were heard at around 10pm as he allegedly carried out the horrific murder in the same building he had taken a 12-year-old boy to just days earlier.

Prosecutor Richard Wright, KC, told the court he shattered her skull with a brick and used a knife to repeatedly stab her through the chest at the same point, penetrating her heart and lungs.

Sharon Henderson arrives at Newcastle Crown Court this morning for the trial of David Boyd, 54, who is accused of murdering her seven year old daughter Nikki Allan

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Nikki Allan, seven, was lured away from a block of flats to be murdered, a court heard today

He said: ‘Over thirty years ago, on the night of October 7, 1992, a little girl called Nikki Allan was lured away from the block of flats in which she lived and down towards the River Wear in Sunderland.

‘The man who led her away took her into an area of wasteland behind a disused building.

‘There he struck her at least one blow that caused her to bleed. He then forced her through an opening in a boarded up window into the derelict building. It was the only point of access to that building and this man plainly knew that building well and knew exactly where and how to get into it.

‘Inside the building the man who took her there beat Nikki Allan about the head with a brick. He shattered her skull. He then used a knife to stab her repeatedly through her chest, the knife being driven in and out of her body many times through the same hole.

‘Into her heart, into her lungs, making sure of the job of killing her. He lifted and dragged her downstairs into the blackness of the basement, and no doubt knowing his way around, navigated the series of rooms, dragging her with him, and dumping her body in the corner of an end room, where he must have hoped she would remain undetected, but where in fact she would be found the next morning by two of the many local residents who were desperately searching for her. Nikki Allan was seven years old.’

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Undated handout file photo issued by Northumbria Police of murdered schoolgirl Nikki Allan

Mr Wright said that Boyd got away with the murder for three decades because police focused their attention entirely on 24-year-old George Heron, who they were convinced was Nikki’s killer.

But Heron was found to be innocent – with Boyd even giving a statement to the original investigation.

Mr Wright said: ‘In 1993 a trial took place in the Crown Court at Leeds. The man accused of the murder of Nikki Allan was called George Heron.

‘The jury found him not guilty of murder. They were right to do so. George Heron was not the killer of Nikki Allan. The killer of Nikki Allan was David Boyd, the man sitting in the dock at the back of this Court.’

He said that Boyd was also known by the names David Smith or David Bell at the time of the murder and was 25 years old at the time.

He lived close to Nikki in the same block of flats, Wear Garth, and he knew the building in which she was murdered well – and how to get into it.

The court heard he constructed a false alibi in 1992. Mr Wright said: ‘He benefited from the attention of the police being wrongly focused on an innocent man – he even provided a statement for use in the original trial.

‘He was, by his own admission, the last man to see her alive that night having her in his sight until the moments before she was lured away.

‘He was by his own admission out of his flat alone at the time that she went missing. He closely resembles the description of the man who killed Nikki.

‘Modern scientific testing has revealed his DNA on her clothing in multiple areas. The case against David Boyd is a circumstantial one but it is, we will invite you to conclude, a compelling one, a case that will enable you to come to the sure and safe conclusion that he is guilty of her murder.’

Mr Wright said that Nikki was lured away rather than being ‘bundled into a car’ and she was last seen skipping behind Boyd, would fall behind and then skip faster to catch up.

He added: ‘Nikki was with her killer and unwittingly skipping to her death.’

Boyd lived on Wear Garth on the same floor as Nikki’s grandparents and was well known to Nikki’s family and to Nikki.

His girlfriend at the time was a regular babysitter for Nikki, Mr Wright said.

Mr Wright said: ‘David Boyd knew the local area very well and more significantly he knew the Old Exchange Building. He was a regular visitor to that building and knew how to access it, using the same window that the killer used when he took a 12 year old boy there in the dark just a few days before the murder to look for pigeons.

‘David Boyd knew the layout very well and was still able to describe it when interviewed nearly thirty years later.’

Grainy CCTV footage captured Nikki’s final moments at 9.45pm that night as she and her killer made their way towards the place where her body was discovered the following day.

Her screams were heard at 10pm, fixing the time of her murder as just 15 minutes later.

Boyd, from Norton, Stockton on Tees, denies murder. The trial, expected to last five weeks, continues.

Source : https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11994483/Boyfriend-Nikki-Allans-babysitter-lured-youngster-away-home-court-told.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ito=1490&ns_campaign=1490&rand=1270

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