Rikki Neave murder trial: Rikki's sister tells court his killer has finally got his 'comeuppance' as James Watson is sentenced for boy's murder

“Why would someone kill such a beautiful child?”

By Stephen Briggs
Friday, 24th June 2022, 11:19 am

The family of murdered schoolboy Rikki Neave have spoken of how the loss of Rikki is still impacting their lives as his killer is sentenced nearly 30 years after the six-year-old’s death.

He was found guilty of murder earlier this year following a trial at the Old Bailey.

Rikki Neave. His killer, James Watson, is sentenced at the Old Bailey today

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The court has heard from Rikki’s family this morning, who have told the court of the impact the murder had on their lives.

Ruth Neave, Rikki’s mother, was not present in court for the sentencing.

Rikki was the most beautiful person ever

In a victim impact statement read to the court, she said: “Rikki was the most beautiful person ever. I miss all of his cheekiness, his laughter.

“Why would someone kill such a beautiful child?

“My Rikki was very cheeky and could not stop making people laugh.

“He had plenty of chitter-chatter. Rikki was my only son, my beautiful son with deep blue eyes. I fell in love with him the moment he was born.

“He was my little hero looking out for others.

“Rikki was a quiet little boy and very clever.

“I bloody well was besotted with the way he was growing up.”

“I know I smacked him when he was naughty, but I hated it. I could not tell him off without.”

She added: “Yes I used to shout at him and swear, but that never killed him, did it?”

I feel dead inside, he was the only son I had

She said: “My Rikki was a little firecracker – I could not have wished for a better son, he was adorable. I love you with all my heart and soul, he was my soulmate.

“When he died I wanted to lie with him.”

I had my children snatched out of my arms in the middle of the night because the police were so adamant that I had killed Rikki and would then kill my daughters.

“I feel dead inside, he was the only son I had.”

She added: “Like stones dropping in a pond, it has rippled out far and wide.

“Rikki’s murder left a massive hole in our lives and in our hearts.

“I miss him so much that it feels like I have had my heart ripped out.”

He was taken from me

Rochelle Orr, one of Rikki’s younger sisters said: “I was only three when Rikki was murdered and I was removed from my family. After I entered the care system I suffered severe mental health issues.

“I remember Rikki feeding me, washing me and help me with my clothes.

“He has missed so much or our lives, happy times that we have had. I also wonder what he would be like if he was still here but, sadly, I will never know because he was taken from me.”

Ms Orr looked at Watson in the dock at points.

Losing Rikki was like losing the other half of me

Rebecca Maria Harvey, Rikki’s eldest sister, broke down as she addressed the court. She said: “Although I was the eldest, it wasn’t like that as he would look after me.

“Losing Rikki was like losing the other half of me. I still wake up every day thinking it was a nightmare. I never had a brother to grow up with.

“Rikki is the one who is not here and lost his life, but the effect this had on me and my family is just never-ending.”

She added: “I just cannot understand what happened or why.

“This has been so traumatic, not knowing what happened to him or why. Not only did I lose Rikki, but I lost my whole family.

“I miss him so much.

“All of our lives have been turned upside down and nothing has been the same since.

“After all these years, it is about time Rikki has justice.”

Rikki Lee Harvey finally gets justice

Addressing Watson, but not using his name, she said: “After all these years of living your life … you finally get your comeuppance and Rikki Lee Harvey finally gets justice.”

The hearing is continuing.