Killer David Boyd jailed for at least 29 years after murder of seven-year-old Nikki Allan in 1992

23 May 2023, 15:07 | Updated: 23 May 2023, 16:00

Nikki Allan was brutally murdered in 1992
Nikki Allan was brutally murdered in 1992. Picture: PA
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

A man who murdered seven-year-old Nikki Allan in Sunderland in 1992 has been jailed for at least 29 years.

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

Boyd, 55, had a "sinister purpose" when he lured Nikki to a derelict warehouse in Sunderland's East End in October 1992, prosecutors said.

Nikki's mum Sharon Henderson, 57, has fought ceaselessly to see justice done for her daughter, and she described her ordeal in a victim statement read on her behalf at Newcastle Crown Court.

Nikki's mother Sharon Henderson
Nikki's mother Sharon Henderson. Picture: PA

She said: "I'm 57 and I've spent more than 30 years fighting for justice.

"My life and that of my family has never been the same since Nikki was murdered.

"By murdering Nikki, David Boyd destroyed the life of my beautiful daughter, my life and the lives of my daughters and grandchildren.

"We have not been able to live normal lives since that day."

But speaking outside of court, Ms Henderson said she was disappointed with Boyd's 29-year minimum jail term.

She told reporters: "I would have been satisfied with life (a whole life term). "This is a seven-year-old bairn. When is anyone going to take crimes like this seriously?

"This is what happens to families like mine over and over again - injustice."

Read More: Neighbour who battered Nikki Allan, 7, with a brick and stabbed her 37 times guilty of 1992 murder

Read More: Seven-year-old Nikki Allan 'skipped as she was lured to her death in warehouse 31 years ago', murder trial hears

Richard Wright KC, prosecuting, said there had been a sexual component to the murder, given Boyd's previous convictions for indecent exposure and indecent assault on a nine-year-old girl in a park in 1999.

He may have decided to murder Nikki after she screamed, Mr Wright said, in order to prevent her from telling anyone what he had done to her, after he lured her to wasteland outside the derelict building.

Sentencing was complicated because Boyd was dealt with as the law stood in 1992, when home secretaries determined how long life prisoners must serve before they can be considered for parole.

Mrs Justice Lambert passed sentence having considered how long the minimum term would have been at that time.

Jason Pitter KC, defending, said Boyd had learning difficulties and has been assessed as having an IQ in the bottom 2% of the population.

Mr Pitter also said it was not the defendant's fault that Mr Heron was accused of Nikki's murder.

Nikki Allan
Nikki Allan. Picture: PA

During the sentencing of David Boyd at Newcastle Crown Court of the murder of Nikki Allan, Mrs Justice Lambert said she was sure he had sexually assaulted the little girl, or attempted to, after "tricking" her into following him that night.

She was certain Boyd murdered the child after the assault, or attempt, in order to silence her.

Boyd pushed her into the Old Exchange Building after striking her across the face and the judge said: "She must have quickly known she was trapped.

"She must have quickly known you were coming after her to hurt her.

"It was cold and dark. It must have been a truly terrifying experience for this seven-year-old girl."

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