Plans announced for independent review into police murder investigation of Nikki Allan

Plans have been announced for an independent review around the initial police investigation into the murder of Nikki Allan.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness is set to commission the review in relation to the police investigation into the Sunderland schoolgirl’s murder.

Nikki was seven years old when she was savagely killed by David Boyd in 1992 who stabbed her multiple times and smashed her over the head with a brick. Her body was found in the Old Exchange building the following morning.

Her mother, Sharon Henderson, spent more than 30 years waiting for justice until advances in DNA led to Boyd’s profile being found on Nikki’s clothes. Boyd was convicted of her murder in May 2023.

Northumbria Police initially prosecuted another of Nikki’s neighbours, George Heron. However, the case was thrown out of court after it was revealed that they had illegally acted him into giving a forced confession, nullifying the evidence and throwing cold war over the case.

In her role as Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness is required to act as the public’s voice in policing in Northumbria and put in place the appropriate scrutiny to ensure the force is being effectively held to account.

Kim McGuinness added that she can only imagine the impact the wait for justice has had on Nikki’s family and yesterday she met in person with Nikki’s mother, Sharon Henderson, to discuss her experience.

During the meeting with the family, Kim McGuinness said she planned to commission an independent organisation to conduct a review of any formal complaint made by the family.

The commissioner has issued the following statement: “More than 30 years ago, Sharon Henderson and her family suffered an incredible loss when Nikki Allan was murdered. Their long wait for justice has only compounded their pain.

“Northumbria Police has always remained committed to finding the person responsible, and officers showed that dedication when they used new forensic techniques to finally secure a conviction for Nikki Allan’s murder.

“Hard-working officers brought justice to this case. However, questions remain for Sharon and her family, including over the initial investigation. I agree that Sharon deserves answers.

“Once the formal complaint is received from the family, I will invite an independent organisation in to review the complaint. A process such as this will take time, but Sharon and her family will finally get the answers they need.”