March 11 2014 Latest news:
Story by: JOHN ELWORTHY , Editor
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
A list of questions are being sent to Cambridgeshire police to support demands by the mother of murdered schoolboy Rikki Neave to re-open the murder inquiry into her son’s brutal death.
The questions arise from the two year battle by Mrs Neave and her husband to obtain witness statements and then to scrutinise them for possible inconsistencies.
Mrs Neave, acquitted unanimously of six year-old Rikki’s murder but jailed for child neglect, believes the work done by her and her husband offer a compelling case to get a cold case review.
She said: “The truth has always been in the evidence, which in my opinion has never been investigated by the police properly.
“The most important thing is if you are innocent you don’t need people to back you up with lies, which to me are evident in all the statements.”
Despite not securing all the statements she has asked for, Mrs Neave believes the documents obtained so far – and her systematic analysis of them- offer reasonable grounds for the hunt for her son’s murderer to resume.
“In 1997 the police chief who headed the original inquiry admitted they had made mistakes but the public and I were never told what these mistakes were,” she said.
“It seems that police never checked to see if Rikki ever went to school on the Monday (the day he was murdered) and they have never questioned a witness that saw him at around 11.30am at the school”.
She said that nowhere in the evidence which she has re-examined is the arrangement she had with the school to let her know if Rikki went missing.
“The school only phoned on the Tuesday afternoon to tell me Rikki was not at school on the Monday,” she said. “By then we had already been informed he had been found murdered.”
“The police missed and are still unaware that they total missed vital evidence such as the fact Rikki had lost a tooth sometime after 9am on the Monday.
“Most worrying is the fact no social services records were ever looked at and for two good reasons. Firstly, they would prove no neglect or cruelty and secondly they all went missing the day after Rikki was found.”
Mrs Neave claims police “cherry picked witnesses” and discounted all sighting of him after 4.30pm on Monday “because the sightings were by other children or drug users but 90 per cent of the statements that the police used are from career criminals who were also drug users and or suppliers.”
Her questions are being sent to Cambridgeshire police chief Simon Parr and to police commissioner Sir Graham Bright.
She begins with the statement on December 1, 1994 by her former husband Dean Neave who provides details of his movements on November 28/29 and also provides the names of four others to confirm them.
However on January 18, 1995 Dean Neave made a second statement to an officer in which he changes everything from his first statement but still has the same four people confirming them.
Mrs Neave said: “Firstly why did the police not think this strange and which set of lies did the police believe, and did they ever make the connection that 90 per cent of the statements made were by people connected directly to Dean Neave.”
“The police took two statements from Dean, a known police informer, career criminal, drug dealer and drug user, showing that he lied in one if not both his statements. I believe that they would also have statements from at least five other people which would have given Neave alibis on both his statements, showing them to have lied to the police.”
In a statement from another witness, this time female, the woman is praised by police for her assistance but later the same witness admits to “drug dealing and using children to deliver them but to date I believe that she has never been charged with any drug offences”.
Mrs Neave also questions the movements of two travellers on the estate the night Rikki went missing – it was only after they mentioned having seen Dean there too that he was to change his mind in a later statement.
She also has examined the statement of a neighbour who she says is “very vague” about her movements and has uncovered what she says are “many discrepancies” in the account which she wants re-examined.
Mrs Neave wants to know why a witness was not later questioned about drug dealing, why school staff was not questioned more thoroughly about Rikki’s attendance on the Monday, and why a paperboy’s evidence was not followed through. Witness statements show the paperboy allegedly seeing Rikki being bullied by two older children in or around the area where his naked body was later to be found.
The post mortem report, again a copy of which has been obtained by this newspaper, quotes the Home Office pathologist Dr Nat Carry as stating Rikki “was a normal healthy child, normally developed for the stated age of six.”
But Mrs Neave believes this was withheld from the court “because it never fitted the image they wanted to portray.
“On the third weekend of January 1995, I was interviewed for a total of 30 hours, only to have a break to talk to my solicitor. I was questioned extensively by six different officers but throughout I gave consistent responses, because they were the truth.”
Other evidence in the report sent to the chief constable and the police commissioner point to aspects of the case which she claims were used to paint “an untrue and negative opinion of me”.
The full set of questions and evidence produced by Mrs Neave and her husband are also being to MP Steve Barclay who she also hopes can intervene to force the murder inquiry to be re-opened.