THE mum of murdered schoolgirl Nikki Allan is hopeful the Stephen Lawrence convictions could lead to finding her daughter’s killer.
Sharon Henderson, 44, campaigned tirelessly to see the ancient double-jeopardy law, which prevents suspects from being tried twice for the same offence, overturned.
Thanks to a shake-up to the law in 2005, Stephen Lawrence’s killer Gary Dobson, now 36, has been put behind bars for the murder, despite being acquitted in 1994.
Sharon, of Ryhope, said: “I’m really pleased that this case is sorted, especially for the family and for Stephen.
“He can now rest in peace and his family can live with some sort of peace so I’m glad I fought for the law to be changed.”
Seven-year-old Nikki’s body was found in the then disused Exchange Building in High Street East, close to her home at Wear Garth, in October 1992.
She had been beaten around the head and stabbed in the chest.
Jobless neighbour George Heron was charged with her murder after confessing to detectives.
But the confession never made it to trial after judge Mr Justice Mitchell ruled it had been obtained under oppressive questioning.
Heron was cleared of all charges in November 1993, but was later ordered to pay damages to the family.
Sharon spent years lobbying the Government, sending letters arguing her case for the law to be changed to then Prime Minster Tony Blair, Home Secretary David Blunkett and various MPs and organisations.
She also received support from former senior Durham police officer Lord Brian Mackenzie of Framwellgate, who led the fight for change.
In a letter to her, he told her to continue her “fight for justice” and invited her to London to discuss the matter further.
Sharon said: “I’m glad we fought to have this law changed because it shows it can help find justice.
“It has found justice for a few families and now I want justice for mine.”
Last week, Dobson was jailed for a minimum of 15 years and two months, and accomplice David Norris, 35, for 14 years and three months, for the part they played in murdering the schoolboy.
Stephen was just 18 when he was killed in a racist attack in Eltham, South East London.
SHARON is gearing up to take her fight to the top.
The mum launched a Facebook page – Justice for Nikki Allan – in September as a way to get people to back her campaign.
The grieving mum wants the case into her daughter’s case to be reopened and has pledged to take her fight to the Home Secretary and Association of Chief Police Officers.
Already, more than 2,500 people have liked the page and Sharon said she has received support from across the globe.
She said: “I can’t believe the amount of support I’ve got from people. They’ve been sending me letters and messages non-stop.”