Mum of Nikki Allan to take legal action against police over 1992 murder

Sharon Henderson told the BBC’s Newsnight programme she will take legal action against the force. Credit: PA

The mother of a girl murdered in 1992 says she is taking legal action against a police force over her 30-year wait for justice.

Seven-year-old Nikki Allan was murdered in Sunderland after being lured to a derelict building and repeatedly beaten and stabbed.

David Boyd was jailed for her murder in May.

The 55-year-old had denied the charge but was found guilty following a trial.

Nikki's mum Sharon Henderson told BBC Newsnight she believes the investigation into her daughter's death was inadequate.

Nikki Allan, who was seven when she was murdered in October 1992. Credit: Handout

Northumbria Police, which has previously apologised for failures, said it would not comment on any legal action.

Ms Henderson told ITV Tyne Tees in May that she intended to sue the police for mistakes made in Nikki’s case, and called for a public inquiry.

In the interview with Newsnight, Ms Henderson said her lawyers were writing to the chief constable of Northumbria Police announcing their intent to pursue legal action.

Ms Henderson told the programme: “I was treated really badly by the police.

“Because I was the one parent, I didn’t have any support and I was drinking heavily.

“I was living in a council flat and I didn’t have any money.”

Nikki, who lived with her family in Wear Garth flats in Hendon, east Sunderland, close to Boyd, was found dead in a nearby derelict building in October 1992.

She had been beaten with a brick and stabbed 37 times in her chest and torso before being dumped in the basement of the warehouse.

Another man, George Heron faced a trial for her murder. However, a confession by Heron was ruled inadmissible in court due to harsh interrogation tactics and he was acquitted.

Ms Henderson refused to give up her fight for justice, campaigning for years to bring Nikki's killer to justice.

After the jury convicted Boyd, Northumbria Police apologised to Ms Henderson, as well as to Mr Heron who had to leave Sunderland despite being cleared in 1993.

At the time, Detective Chief Superintendent Lisa Theaker, who led the successful inquiry, praised Nikki’s family, saying: “I would like to thank them for their patience and strength shown during their relentless pursuit of justice.”

Northumbria Police declined to comment about any potential legal action.

The force has offered Ms Henderson a meeting with Assistant Chief Constable Alastair Simpson, who issued the previous apology to the family and Mr Heron.

Ms Wistrich, who is also Ms Henderson’s solicitor, has written to the chief constable, Vanessa Jardine, to inform her of the legal action; and to the Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, asking for a formal inquiry into the case.

Ms Wistrich said: “Sharon and her daughters have suffered immense pain and damage as a consequence of historic police failures.

“She never gave up on her attempts to secure justice for Nikki.

“Now the murderer has been convicted, she wants answers and a full inquiry into the historic failures by Northumbria Police.”

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