A man was convicted in a London court Thursday noon for the murder of 6-year-old boy Ricky Neff, more than 27 years ago. It’s about 41-year-old James Watson, who was 13 when the boy was killed, according to the BBC.
The penalty will be determined at a later time.
Ricky Neff disappeared on November 28, 1994. The next day, his body was found in the woods near his childhood home in Peterborough. He had been strangled and his naked body shaped like a star by his killer.
Watson is the second person to be tried for murder. In 1996, Ricky’s mother, Ruth Nef, was on trial, but was acquitted by a jury. Watson’s trial lasted 11 weeks.
Rochelle Nef, the victim’s sister, called the verdict a “victory”. Her family has always continued to stand up for justice. “He thought he got away with it for years and thought we put it behind us. We didn’t.
The murder investigation was reopened in 2015. When the victim’s clothes were examined, it turned out that there was a DNA match with Watson.
Watson claimed to have lifted Ricky to help him see behind the fence, but police found television footage showing no fence at the time. Watson allegedly strangled the victim with a band or collar to achieve a “horrific fantasy” he had told his mother three days earlier.
While out on bail after his arrest in 2016, Watson left the UK in a mobile home via Dover Ferry Terminal. He called his sister from France and told her he had “made a big mistake”. Watson was eventually captured near the British Embassy in Lisbon.
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