Rikki Neave’s mother calls for tougher sentence for son’s murderer 

James Watson

Watson was sentenced to life imprisonment at the Old Bailey on June 24, with a minimum term of 15 years, minus the 843 days already served. - Credit: Cambs Police

The mother of schoolboy Rikki Neave today called for the Attorney General Suella Braverman to “consider the lenient sentence” imposed on the man who murdered her son.  

Ruth Neave said she had written to the Attorney General calling for a review of the sentence handed out to James Watson.  

Watson was sentenced to life imprisonment at the Old Bailey on June 24, with a minimum term of 15 years, minus the 843 days already served. 

“This person has shown no respect or remorse and the public have a right to expect sentence,” said Ruth Neave.  

"He is a danger to the public and a child murderer and the sentence needs to reflect this.” 

She said she had also asked to meet her MP, Daniel Zeichner, to discuss the case.  

"I would like to try and get a change in the law regarding sentencing,” she said.  

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“Though the police have half admitted some failings my husband Gary and I have evidence of corruption evidence tampering and conclusion with social services to frame me for my son’s murder. 

“I have many issues with what happened 28 years ago and no one seems to want to bother.” 

The murder, which happened almost 30 years ago, has been the focus of a two-part special of Channel 4’s 24 Hours in Police Custody which concludes tonight. 

The episodes follow the re-investigation of the murder of six-year-old Rikki Neave, who was killed in Peterborough in 1994. 

Paul Fullwood, lead officer, said: “This investigation was extremely complex and quite unlike anything else the team has encountered before. 

“We meticulously trawled through hundreds of statements, exhibits and other evidence to build a timeline of Rikki’s last movements and find his killer. 

“The programme will take people on the whole journey, over the past three decades, from Rikki’s tragic death to the conviction of his killer after an almost eight-year battle by the investigation team. 

“Our aim was always to find the answers Rikki’s family longed for and ensure the person responsible for his untimely death was brought to justice.” 

Last month Watson, 41, was sentenced to life imprisonment after being found guilty of murdering Rikki on 28 November 1994. 

Watson, who was 13 at the time, strangled Rikki in woodland on the Welland Estate before stripping him and leaving his naked body with legs and arms outstretched. 

Rikki’s mother Ruth Neave was originally charged with his murder and offences of child cruelty.  She pleaded guilty to the latter and was unanimously found not guilty of his murder following a trial in October 1996. 

Tonight's episode airs at 9pm.