Rikki Neave: Sisters wants tougher sentence for James Watson after he 'evaded justice for 27 years'

Graham Stothard has been speaking to Rochelle Neave.

The sisters of murdered schoolboy Rikki Neave has called for a longer sentence for his killer saying he "evaded justice for 27 years".

Rikki's sister Rochelle Neave said her life had changed "dramatically" since his murder and has said she was "relieved" when he was found guilty, but said the 15-year sentence for killer James Watson "isn't long enough".

"I think that he needs more time to reflect on the things that he's done. The way that he handled himself in that trial, he was smirking and smiling. It isn't a joke, my brother is dead."

Watson was 13 when he lured the six-year-old into woods near his home in Peterborough on 28 November 1994.

He strangled Rikki from behind using a ligature or his own anorak zip, and then posed his body in a star shape.

It wasn't until three decades later that Watson was jailed for life with a minimum term of 15 years by Mrs Justice McGowan at the Old Bailey on 24 June.

Rikki's eldest sister Rebecca Harvey told ITV News that the 15-year sentence for killer James Watson is "not enough".

Ms Harvey said it was "an extremely difficult 27-odd years," adding that she thought Watson's jail term should be longer.

"I believe this isn’t enough considering he has lived his life all these years hiding and keeping this massive secret - like how can he not care? I struggle to make sense of it," said Ms Harvey.

Watson will serve the minimum term of 15 years, minus the little over two years he has already spent in custody, but the Parole Board must be satisfied that he no longer presents a risk to the public before he can be released.

Rikki's family - including his sisters - believe his sentence is "too lenient" and that not all factors were taken into account when Watson was sentenced as a child. The family have launched a petition on Change.org calling for it to be reviewed and extended.

"I’m still devastated and I always will be that will not change," said Ms Harvey.

James Watson was extradited back to the UK to face justice

The judge had previously said that Watson - now 41 - would be sentenced as a 13-year-old because that was the age he was when he committed the crime.

Ms Harvey told ITV News she "can’t begin to put into words what it’s been like" but has "wonderful happy memories with Rikki" and will live her life "making Rikki proud".

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