Praise for Rikki murder squad as family campaign for killer’s sentence to be increased 

Chief constable Nick Dean commends the team together that cracked the Rikki Neave murder.

Chief constable Nick Dean commends the team together that cracked the Rikki Neave murder. - Credit: Cambs Police

The police team that brought Rikki’s Neave killer to justice has received a commendation from Cambridgeshire Chief Constable Nick Dean.  

His commendations for team members – headed by then assistant chief constable Paul Fullwood - were handed over at a special gathering at police headquarters in Huntingdon. 

Mr Dean praised each member of the Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire Major Crimes Unit that sought out and brought a prosecution against James Watson.  

Mr Dean said he had commended the team “for their hard work and determination which led to Rikki’s killer being convicted for murder and sentenced to life last month. 

“The reinvestigation into Rikki’s murder started in 2015 and was extremely challenging.  

“However, the team were committed from the very beginning to get justice for Rikki and worked painstakingly to ensure that happened.” 

In a separate development Rikki’s sisters have announced the launch of a campaign to secure the sentence handed to his killer to be extended.  

James Watson (left) jailed for the murder of Rikki Neave

James Watson (left) jailed for the murder of Rikki Neave - Credit: Cambs Police/ Archant

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Their online petition has so far attracted nearly 1,500 signatures.  

"We are trying to get enough people to write to the Attorney General to get Watson’s sentence extended,” says a statement accompanying their petition. 

“He was sentenced as a child. We are fully aware that he was 13 at the time of the crime but there are a lot of facts we don’t feel have been taken into consideration.   

“James Watson evaded justice for over 27 years.  

“He was able to live a normal life in which he still abused and assaulted young boys. He didn’t just commit this murder at 13 and not continue his child abuse behaviour; his character is that of a child abuser and not a normal person who made a mistake.” 

The statement added: “He sexually assaulted a 6-year-old boy a few months before killing Rikki. This we believe was a pre meditated attack on our brother.  

“He wasn’t a young child who made a mistake he was a troubled boy whom has carried his behaviours into his adult life.” 

Family photo of Rikki Neave

Family photo of Rikki Neave - Credit: Family

The statement added: “This killer shouldn’t have been allowed to have been sentenced as a child.  

“He will serve 12.5 years for ruining our whole lives”. 

Rikki’s sisters had all suffered “with mental health problems due to this - the sentence given was far too lenient.” 

You can sign the petition here