1. ITV Report

Hopes new evidence could lead to breakthrough in Nikki Allan murder case

Nikki Allan was seven when she was murdered Photo: Family photograph

Detectives investigating the murder of Sunderland schoolgirl Nikki Allan 25 years ago say they have hope that new forensic leads could lead to a major breakthrough in the investigation.

Officers are looking into further forensic results and are urging people to come forward for DNA testing to eliminate themselves from inquiries. Nikki's father is backing the new appeal. It's the first time he has spoken out since her death in 1992.

Nikki Allen Credit: Family photo

Nikki Allan, who was seven years old when she was murdered, was found dead on October 8, 1992, in the then-derelict Old Exchange Building, near to her family home at Wear Garth, Sunderland. She had been badly beaten and stabbed 37 times in the chest.

Nikki had left her grandparents' flat in Wear Garth, East End. Her shoes were discovered outside the derelict Exchange building a few hundred yards away the next morning. Her body was found inside the building by a neighbour helping police with the search.

In the years that followed, police had no success in their efforts to bring the killer to justice.

Officers have now recovered further forensic results, including some DNA from a male, and are appealing for members of the family, friends or others who may have come into contact with Nikki to come forward for testing.

The first man to step forward is Nikki's father, David Allan, who is speaking out for the first time in 25 years to show his support for the police investigation and urge any other men who came into contact with Nikki to help police.

Nikki Allen Credit: Family photo

"I have remained quiet about Nikki's death for 25 years but now is the time I need to speak out.

"I can't begin to describe how difficult life has been without my beautiful little girl. I would never want anyone to suffer the heartache we have suffered as parents.

"As Nikki's father, I have provided a DNA sample myself and it is very quick, easy and completely painless.

"I would beg anyone who knew Nikki or had any contact with her before she died to please come forward to have your DNA taken.

"This isn't about accusing anyone of being a suspect - this is to eliminate you from police enquiries."

– David Allan
Vigils have been held over the years since Nikki's death Credit: ITV

Police say they have continually reviewed the evidence over the years since Nikki's murder and advancements in forensic science have led to leads that were not available at the time.

The charity Crimestoppers has offered a reward of up to £10,000 for anyone who has information which leads to the apprehension and conviction of Nikki's Killer.

Nikki Allen Credit: Family Photo

Detective Inspector Paul Waugh is looking into the unsolved murder and hopes that the new forensic evidence, together with the anniversary and Crimestoppers reward, may bring to light the crucial piece of the jigsaw that they are looking for.

"In order to ensure we are able to fully consider any new scientific findings we have been obtaining DNA samples from people who may have been in the area at the time. This is perfectly normal within any forensic examination and we would urge anyone to come forward to ensure they can be ruled out of the investigation at an early stage. The scientific work is ongoing and we will continue to do all we can to maximise the use of forensic science to progress this investigation.

"Although the murder happened 25 years ago it is still very much an active case for Northumbria Police and we will continue to investigate until Nikki's killer is brought justice.

"We strongly urge any members of Nikki's family, friends of the family or anyone who had any contact with Nikki prior to her death to come forward to be tested for their DNA."

"I must absolutely stress that this is a vital part of the investigation and the only way we are able to eliminate any innocent parties from our enquiries is through DNA sampling.

"Please think about how Nikki's family are feeling and how tragic this is for them.

"Nikki would have been 32 years old this year and it is utterly heartbreaking to hear from her parents and close family talking about what could have been for Nikki - she may well have had children of her own by now and this is something that haunts both David and Sharon greatly.

"If anyone has any information at all please contact police. It may be something they believed at the time was not important but this could be the vital clue we are looking for. Or anyone who may have been in the area at the time of Nikki's death and wish to provide a DNA sample then please come forward. If you know anything, no matter how insignificant you may think it is, then call us or contact the charity Crimestoppers anonymously."

– Detective Inspector Paul Waugh

Anyone who wishes to speak to police or pass any information on is asked to contact the major crime team on 101 ext 69191 or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Only those passing information through Crimestoppers will be illegible for a reward. Information passed to the police will not qualify.