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David Boyd: Babysitter’s boyfriend guilty of murder of schoolgirl Nikki Allan over 30 years ago

 (PA)
(PA)

A sex offender has been convicted of murdering a seven-year-old girl after escaping justice for more than 30 years.

Nikki Allan’s family never gave up their fight to see justice done after the youngster was lured to her brutal death in a derelict warehouse 300 yards from their home in Sunderland’s East End in 1992.

After a trial at Newcastle Crown Court, neighbour David Boyd, 55, was found guilty of murdering Nikki, who was attacked with a brick and stabbed 37 times in the chest, before dumping her – dead or dying – in the basement of the old Exchange building.

Northumbria Police first prosecuted the wrong man, George Heron, who was cleared after a trial in 1993.

Outlining the prosecution case, Richard Wright KC told the court Boyd was known to Nikki’s family, lived in the same block of flats as her and was the boyfriend of their babysitter.

Nikki had been out with friends on the evening of October 7 1992 and a woman told police she saw a little girl wandering with a man now known to be Boyd.

Mr Wright said: “The little girl would occasionally drop behind and would then skip to catch up.

Bodycam footage shows the arrest of David Boyd (PA)
Bodycam footage shows the arrest of David Boyd (PA)

“This was Nikki Allan. She was with her killer and she was unwittingly skipping to her death.”

Boyd, aged 25 at the time of the killing and now of Chesterton Court, Stockton, Teesside, denied murder but refused to go into the witness box to give evidence.

Prosecutors said Nikki must have known her killer to willingly follow him – grainy CCTV showed a male adult being trailed by a child.

Locals told police they heard piercing screams on the night Nikki was killed.

And the tight-knit community helped officers, who carried out an overnight search when it was realised the schoolgirl was missing.

The next morning, Nikki’s shoes and coat were found outside the dockside warehouse – with her body found in the basement.

Her blood was discovered outside the only entry point, a boarded-up window about six feet off the ground.

Investigators believe Boyd must have hit Nikki outside the building, then lifted her inside and carried out his monstrous attack, during which he left traces of DNA on her clothes.

Seven years later, Boyd indecently assaulted a nine-year-old girl in a Teesside park.

He already had a conviction for breach of the peace in 1986 after asking an underage girl for a kiss.

He told his probation officer he had fantasised about naked “young girls”.

In 2017, advances in DNA techniques allowed police to re-examine Nikki’s case and extract samples from her clothing.

Tests indicated a one in 28,000 match for Boyd – or a male relative of his – was found on the clothes “in multiple areas”, jurors heard.

Police were then able to go back and request a DNA test from the man they considered a mere witness 31 years ago.

Boyd was arrested on suspicion of murder in 2018 and charged last year after a painstaking investigation involving the DNA testing of 839 men linked to the area at the time.