A police force has apologized to a man accused of wrongfully killing 7-year-old schoolgirl Nikki Allan in 1992.
Northumbria Police also apologized to Nikki’s family for mistakes in the initial investigation and they had to wait 31 years before her real killer David Boyd was brought to justice.
Convicted sex offender, 55, was found guilty of her murder in Hendon, Sunderland, on the evening of 7 October 1992 at Newcastle Crown Court on Friday.
His trial heard how he lured the girl to an abandoned building, where he smashed her skull with bricks before stabbing her repeatedly in the heart.
Today, the force released a letter to George Heron apologizing for the way he was treated during the initial investigation.
Mr. Heron was falsely tried in 1993, and later acquitted after a judge dismissed a false confession he made after days of “oppressive” questioning.
In the letter, Assistant Sheriff Alastair Simpson wrote: “On behalf of Northumbria Police, I would like to apologize for the mistakes made during the investigation and I hope, as you expressed in your statement, that the conviction of Mr Boyd will eventually close the matter for you and allow you to move on with your life.”
During the initial investigation, Mr Heron was questioned “oppressively” and denied involvement in the murder 120 times in three days of interviews, before he made several confessions.
After he was exonerated, police said they were not looking for anyone else in connection with Nikki’s murder – although the real killer remains outlawed.
It is known that Mr. Heron was slashed in the face while in custody in the 1990s.
After that, he had to leave Sunderland despite being cleared, and was accepted by a religious order.
Detective director Lisa Theaker led a complex reinvestigation that began in 2017 and culminated in Boyd’s conviction.
She told reporters: “Regarding the previous investigation (1992), it was widely publicized that the interviews conducted previously were oppressive and that some of the evidence was distorted prior to the investigation. George Heron ‘confessed’, and we know the judge ruled out that confession.
“On a national scale, the way we interview people has changed a lot.”
Theaker said now that the trial is over, the team will be able to share information with Nikki’s mother, Sharon Henderson, and reassure her family that no one else was involved in the murder.
Mr Simpson apologized to Nikki’s family, saying: “I’m truly sorry for the mistakes made in the 1992 investigation and I’m sorry it took so long to get justice for him. family.
“I can’t imagine the impact on them over the last 30 years, so I asked to meet Sharon and other family members and I’ll be happy to tell them when I see them. .”
During decades of evading justice, Body rudely assaulted a 9-year-old in a park in 1999 and told his probation officer he was sexually interested in girls. young at a young age.
But Mrs. Henderson never gave up her fight for justice for her daughter and campaigned relentlessly. She met then-Sheriff Steve Ashman in 2017, who agreed to re-investigate.
The sex offender – 25 years old when he murdered Nikki – was later arrested thanks to advances in DNA techniques that were able to extract new traces from the girl’s clothes.
Outside court last week, Ms. Henderson spoke of the “unfairness” that “this wicked man fell for Nikki in the first place when he was on their (police) file.” .
Asked how she found the strength to keep fighting for justice, Ms Henderson said: “Because Nikki is my daughter and I love her.”
Mr. Heron provided a statement to be read in court when Boyd is sentenced on May 23.