May 2023

Paedophile jailed for life for savagely killing seven-year-old to silence her

Monstrous child killer David Boyd will serve at least 29 years behind bars for murdering little Nikki Allan to silence her after luring her away to sexually abuse her.

Paedophile Boyd tricked the seven-year-old into going with him, with the intention of carrying out a sex attack. When she screamed at what he did or tried to do to her, he forced her into a pitch black derelict building, then smashed her skull with a brick and knifed her 37 times.

The killer evaded justice for more than 30 years, adding to the torture of her parents Sharon and David, which was laid bare in their statements read to Newcastle Crown Court as Boyd was locked up.

The court heard how three decades of pain, anger and frustration have taken a heavy toll on Nikki’s parents and the wider family. Now, after a long battle, they finally have some closure after advances in DNA techniques nailed Boyd as the culprit.

Sharon, 57, who could not face going into the courtroom for the sentencing hearing, said in a statement read to the court by prosecutor Richard Wright KC that her little girl’s murder had “destroyed” her family’s lives.

She said: “Nikki was a bright and sparky child who was always a mammy’s girl. She had a beautiful smile and was loved. I cannot put into words how I felt when I heard Nikki was missing and was ultimately found murdered.”

On the night she disappeared, on October 7 1992, the youngster was seen “skipping to her death” behind a man in Sunderland.

She had been lured her away by her killer as she waited for her mum outside a pub. Witness accounts described Nikki heading toward the derelict Old Exchange building with the man and she was described as appearing “comfortable in the company of her killer” – blissfully unaware of the horror that was soon to follow.

Piercing screams and unnerving noises were then heard from the area of the building by people who were in the area at the time.

Whatever convicted paedophile Boyd did to her on waste ground behind the building, she lost her shoes and coat during her initial ordeal.

Residents and police spent the night looking for Nikki and the following morning her shoes and coat were found outside the Old Exchange building.

A 16-year-old and his stepdad then made the horrific discovery of the youngster’s badly injured body in the corner a dark room in the basement of the building.

The court heard she had been put through a 6ft 2 high window, smashed over the head with a brick before being stabbed in the chest dozens of times.

She was then dragged by her ankles from the room where the attack happened down the the basement where she was dumped.

Jurors were shown pictures from inside the building – which Boyd knew well having been there just a few days earlier with another child – showing the scene of he attack, which was heavily bloodstained both on the floor and wall. Images also depicted drag marks leading to her body and blood on the stairs from her head bouncing off them.

Advances in DNA techniques led to a breakthrough in the case in recent years, with Boyd’s DNA being found on Nikki’s clothes in areas where he would have touched her to lift her through the window. That led to Boyd being arrested at his home in Stockton, sparking the beginning of the end of the mystery of who killed Nikki.

Jailing him for life, with a minimum term of at least 29 years, Mrs Justice Lambert said: “You decided to kill her, to silence her and prevent her from telling anyone that you had sexually assaulted her or attempted to do so.

“It would not have taken the seven-year-old long to appreciate she was trapped in that cold and dark building and that you were coming through the window to get her.

“The site of the of the fatal assault was as far away from the window as Nikki could have got on that ground floor, that is the far wall of the furthest room. No doubt that is where she ran to get as far away as possible from you.

“Her fear, as she saw you lurching towards you in the dark, is unimaginable. You found her standing or sitting against that far wall and it was there you struck her at least twice with a brick, fracturing her skull into several pieces.”

She added: “You caused Nikki great mental suffering in the minutes before her loss of consciousness. After you pushed her into the building she must have quickly known you were coming after her to hurt her and there was nowhere for her to hide.

“She was in a cold, pitch black building. Her terror at what was to befall her as you stalked her in that building is unimaginable.

“This must have been a truly terrifying experience for this seven-year-old girl.”

The court heard Boyd has a total of 45 previous convictions, mainly for acquisitive crime. As well as the two sexually motivated convictions revealed during the trial – indecent assault on a nine-year-old girl and breach of the peace in relation to grabbing a youngster and asking for a kiss – it was revealed he was convicted in 1986 of indecent exposure when he ran by an adult female three times naked from the waist down.

He told a psychiatrist he had been exposing himself to women since he was 16.

He was further investigated in 1997 for exposing himself to a 15-year-old girl. He admitted exposing himself to three young girls but was not charged despite his admissions.

Paedophile guilty of murdering girl 7, and dumping her in abandoned warehouse

A convicted child abuser has been found guilty of brutally murdering a seven-year-old girl more than 30 years ago.

Nikki Allan was repeatedly hit with a brick and stabbed dozens of times before her body was abandoned in a derelict building near her home in Sunderland in October 1992.

David Boyd, 55, from Stockton-on-Tees, was convicted at Newcastle Crown Court after a three-week trial.

Nikki’s mother said the “evil man” had “slipped through the net” for decades.

He will be sentenced on 23 May.

A mother’s 30-year hunt for her daughter’s killer
Boyd, then aged 25, was a neighbour of Nikki’s at the Wear Garth flats in the east end of Sunderland and his partner had been the girl’s babysitter.

However, he avoided suspicion in the initial Northumbria Police investigation because detectives were focussed on another man – also a neighbour – 24-year-old George Heron.

He was prosecuted but acquitted at a trial in 1993 after a judge ruled police had used “oppressive” tactics when questioning him and said his confession had been obtained under duress.

Nikki Allan was killed on 7 October 1992
He was also familiar with the abandoned Old Exchange building, about 300 yards from where he and Nikki lived, and knew how to get inside through a broken, boarded-up window.

DNA matching his was found on Nikki’s clothes and he bore a “striking resemblance” to a man seen with Nikki shortly before her death, prosecutors said.

The trial heard Boyd, of Chesterton Court in Norton, confessed to having sexual fantasies about young girls and was convicted of indecently assaulting a nine-year-old girl in 1999.

He also had a conviction for indecent exposure in 1997 when he flashed three young girls in a park and one for breaching the peace in 1986 when he grabbed a 10-year-old girl and asked her for a kiss.

Prosecutor Richard Wright KC previously told jurors Nikki was lured to the building by someone she knew and the “irresistible conclusion” was it was done for a “sinister purpose” even though there was no evidence of a sexual assault.

He said the case against Boyd was “circumstantial but compelling” but if he was not the murderer then Nikki must have been killed by a “phantom” who had left no evidence behind.

The jury of 10 women and two men in Boyd’s trial reached their verdict after two-and-a-half hours of deliberation.

The public gallery erupted with raucous cheers and cries of “thank you” when the verdict was read out. Police officers had to be summoned into the court to restore order.

Boyd, dressed in a white T-shirt, did not visibly react and was remanded into custody.

Outside court, Nikki’s mother Sharon Henderson, who campaigned tirelessly to keep her daughter’s case in the public consciousness, spoke of the “injustice” her family had lived with for three decades.

Addressing the botched police investigation in 1992, she told reporters: “This evil man slipped through the net to murder Nikki when he was on their files in the first place.

“Three doors down from Nikki’s grandparents [where Boyd had been living]. They should have investigated him straight away.”

Asked how she had managed to keep fighting for justice, she replied: “Because Nikki’s my daughter and I love her.”