RUTH NEAVE had to face the worst thing that a mother can ever think of – the death of her own son.
She not only had to mourn her son Rikki Neave, but she was also wrongly accused of murdering the six-year-old who was found dead in the woods.
Who is Ruth Neave?
Ruth Neave is the mother of murdered six-year-old Rikki Neave.
Her son left for school and never came back and this urged her to report her son missing on November 28, 1994 at around 6pm.
She later discovered that her son never really made it to school that day and 24 hours later, she received the most horrible news that she could ever think of.
Rikki was found dead in the woods near their home on the Welland estate in Peterborough.
What happened to Ruth Neave?
Ruth was wrongly accused of murdering Rikki.
She was charged with child cruelty and sentenced to seven years in prison.
This came after her court trial in 1996 heard that she abused Rikki in several instances.
It heard that she threatened her son to kill him, another time she scrawled “idiot” across his forehead and once she squirted washing up liquid into his mouth.
Rikki was also known to be a vulnerable child to the Cambridgeshire social services and was on the county’s Child Protection Register, which worsened Ruth’s case.
An image of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man in her house also made the detectives think that she copied this image on her son’s murder.
Rikki’s body was found naked, in a starfish shape with his arms stretched out and his legs wide open.
She served her prison sentence but had the murder charges against her dropped.
That is when she contacted the head of local major crime unit, Paul Fullwood and requested that a further investigation is done into her son’s murder.
After 27 years, details overlooked in the initial investigation were explored further and it was revealed that the real killer was James Watson, who was 13-years-old at the time of the murder.
Watson is now serving a lifetime prison sentence, and must serve a minimum of 15 years before having Parole consider his release.
Who was her son Rikki Neave?
Rikki was still a schoolboy and his half-sister Rochelle – who was aged three at the time of her brother’s loss – described him to be “loving and caring.”
She explained how when there was nothing to eat in the house, her brother used to “go to the shop, he would nick [food] and come back and feed us.”
She added: “[He’d] make sure we were clean so he’d run a bath because he was so clean, he loved being clean.”
Where is Ruth Neave now?
When released from prison, Ruth returned to Cambridgeshire and eventually met Gary Rogers, who is now her husband.
Ruth could not bring herself to attend Watson’s trial and sentencing, so a witness statement from her was read out instead.
It said: “Like stones dropping in a pond, [the murder] has rippled out far and wide.
“Rikki’s murder left a massive hole in our lives and in our hearts.
“I miss him so much that it feels like I have had my heart ripped out.”
A Channel 4 documentary series called, 24 Hours in Police Custody, will show a two-part series which will look into Watson’s arrest.
Footage from inside the police station and details in the investigation that led to his conviction will be shown.
The episodes will be broadcasted live on Monday, July 4 and Tuesday, July 5 at 9pm on Channel 4.
For those who miss them, they can find the episodes on the All4 app once they are broadcasted live.
Source: The Sun