The suspect accused of murdering Nikki Allan in 1992 took a young boy to the same building the seven-year-old was found in, three days before she went missing, a court heard today.
Schoolgirl Nikki was lured away from her home and beat her 37 times with a brick before being repeatedly stabbed in the chest.
Colin Pearson, who was 12 at the time, gave a statement to police about visiting the Old Exchange Building in Hendon, Sunderland, where Nikki’s body was found.
Local boys would visit the derelict warehouse to catch pigeons and seagulls.
Colin said at the time that he last visited the building on Sunday October 4th 1992, three days before Nikki’s murder, with David Boyd, who was then known as David Smith or David Bell.
He told officers: ‘I have been in the building a few times. The last time was on October 4th 1992 with David Smith, who lives in Wear Garth.’
A 12-year-old schoolboy has said the neighbour who is accused of murdering seven-year-old Nikki Allan in 1992 took him to the same building she was found in, three days before she went missing
Colin Pearson, who was 12 at the time, gave a statement to police about visiting the Old Exchange Building in Hendon, Sunderland, where Nikki’s body was found
Colin said at the time that he last visited the building (pictured) on Sunday October 4th 1992, three days before Nikki’s murder, with David Boyd, who was then known as David Smith or David Bell
He was revisited by police 26 years later, in March 2018, after Boyd’s DNA had been identified on Nikki’s clothes.
He told officers: ‘There were a few of us, I can’t remember who. I don’t know why Smith would have wanted to go in there with all of us. I don’t know how often he went in there.’
Also in 1992, Boyd’s girlfriend at the time, Caroline Branton, told police she babysat for Nikki and her sister when their mother Sharon was out. Boyd lived with Ms Branton three doors away from Nikki’s grandparents.
Nikki and her sisters would visit the flat while Boys was there, the court heard.
Ms Branton’s daughter, also called Caroline, said in a statement taken in 2018: ‘David Boyd would have known who Nikki Allan was because myself and my mother would babysit for Nikki and we brought her to our place while he was there.’
She said it was ‘inconceivable’ Boyd did not know Nikki because he was a close friend of her uncle, Terry Clarke.
Mr Wright has previously suggested to the jury that the original enquiry ‘made assumptions’ surrounding Heron.
He said: ‘In 1992 the police inquiry into the murder of this child identified George Heron as a suspect and built a case around him.
‘In contrast, in this recent re-investigation of the case the Police have gone to significant lengths to investigate all identifiable potential suspects without making any assumptions.
‘That process has identified just one man who knew this child, knew the murder scene intimately, saw her just before she was lured away, lied about where he was at the time of the killing, who matches the description of the killer, and whose DNA profile matches a DNA profile found at multiple sites on her clothing.’
Newcastle Crown Court was told Boyd – who denies murder – ‘lured’ Nikki away to her death for no apparent reason.
Screams were heard at around 10pm as he allegedly carried out the horrific murder there – where he had also taken a 12-year-old boy just days earlier.
On the right hip of the waistband of her cycling shorts a profile was found which matched Boyd’s. A further profile was found on the neck of her T-shirt with the same probability of it being Boyd’s.
His DNA was found at four points on her clothing – but he explained it by saying he had accidentally spat on Nikki from his balcony on the estate.
Pictures of the sketch and a photograph of David Boyd from the time of the murder in 1992 were handed to jurors at Newcastle Crown Court on Monday.
Prosecutors say a comparison of the two images is compelling evidence that Boyd, 55, was the man who lured Nikki to her death.
It is alleged that Boyd dragged her lifeless body by the ankles through an abandoned warehouse and tried to conceal her in the basement.
A photograph of Boyd sitting cross-legged in an armchair in 1992 was shown to the court alongside artist’s impressions of the killer.
Haunting CCTV footage (pictured) was also shown to the court depicting Nikki following her killer to the Old Exchange Building, a derelict warehouse near her home in the Wear Garth housing complex in Sunderland
The 55-year-old neighbour accused of brutally murdering seven-year-old schoolgirl Nikki Allan in 1992 bore a ‘striking resemblance’ to a photofit image drawn by a police artist, a court has heard. Pictures of the sketch (right) and a photograph of David Boyd (left) from the time of the murder in 1992 were handed to jurors at Newcastle Crown Court on Monday
These were drawn by a police artist on the instructions of Margaret Hodgson, a witness who saw Nikki skipping along behind her killer in what would prove to be her final moments.
Prosecutor Richard Wright, KC, told the court: ‘On the 11th October 1992 (four days after the killing) Mrs Hodgson attended at a local police station and assisted a police artist to produce a sketch of the man that she had seen on the 7th October.
‘The artist produced two drawings, one of the face of the man she had seen and a further sketch also depicting his clothing.
‘You may conclude that the man she drew had a distinctive appearance.
The police have been able to identify some images of David Boyd from the late 1980’s and one from the early 1990’s.
‘We invite you to conclude that at or about the time of the murder of Nikki Allan, the younger David Boyd bore a striking resemblance to the man depicted by the police artist on the instructions of Margaret Hodgson.’
Haunting CCTV footage was also shown to the court depicting Nikki following her killer to the Old Exchange Building, a derelict warehouse near her home in the Wear Garth housing complex in Sunderland.
The grainy images taken from a camera on the Roseline bonded warehouse show a male figure walking along with a smaller shape moving quickly to keep up.
The court has heard this was Nikki skipping along behind Boyd, a man known to her family because his girlfriend, Caroline Branton, had acted as Nikki’s babysitter.
A photograph of Boyd sitting cross-legged in an armchair in 1992 (pictured) was shown to the court alongside artist’s impressions of the killer
This was drawn by a police artist on the instructions of Margaret Hodgson, a witness who saw Nikki skipping along behind her killer in what would prove to be her final moments
Also in 1992, Boyd’s girlfriend at the time, Caroline Branton, told police she babysat for Nikki and her sister when their mother Sharon was out. Boyd lived with Ms Branton three doors away from Nikki’s grandparents
Within an hours of being captured by the camera, Nikki was dead.
Prosecutors say she was punched or slapped by Boyd outside the warehouse and then boosted through a gap in a boarded up window. Mr Wright described it as a ‘final tragic glimpse’ of Nikki before her death.
He told the court: ‘The final tragic glimpse of Nikki before her murder was captured by a CCTV camera positioned on a building known as the Roseline bonded warehouse situated on the route between the MacFish factory and the rear of the Old Exchange Building.
‘The footage is of an extremely poor quality. However, it undoubtedly records Nikki’s killer walking towards the Exchange building with Nikki following along a short distance behind him at 21:57 that night.
‘That last sighting of Nikki Allan was no more than a one minute walk to the rear of the Exchange building where she would be attacked.’
The trial heard evidence today (MON) from David Allan, NIkki’s father, who was split from her mother, Sharon.
In a statement read to the court he described driving around the East End of Sundserland in a desperate search for his daughter once he heard she was missing.
He said: ‘By 6am I was so distressed I could not see properly to drive. I could not believe she had not been found.’
The following day, October 8th 1992, he was told by his brother-in-law that Nikki’s body had been discovered.
Mr Allan said: ‘Nikki was not an outgoing girl, I don’t think she would have strayed that far from home if she had been on her own.’
Mr Wright has previously told jurors how Nikki met her death.
Heartbroken parents Sharon Henderson and David Allan attending the funeral of their seven-year-old daughter Nikki Allan
Police outside the Sunderland warehouse in which the murdered body of schoolgirl Nikki was found
He said: ‘Inside the Exchange 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.’
Boyd, of Norton, Stockton on Tees, denies murder and the trial, expected to last four weeks, continues.
Source : https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12007953/Neighbour-accused-killing-Nikki-Allan-visited-building-killed-three-days-earlier.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ito=1490&ns_campaign=1490&rand=1270