A MAN has been charged with the murder of 14-year-old schoolboy Simon Martin more than 22 years ago.
The youngster’s half-naked body was discovered by two boys at the derelict Gillside House in Roker Terrace, Sunderland, in May 1990.
His death, which shocked the city, sparked a major police investigation spanning more than two decades.
Now the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has charged Steven John Grieveson, also known as Steven John Field, with murder.
The 42-year-old is expected to appear at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court on December 4.
Kingsley Hyland, head of the complex casework unit at the CPS North East, said: “I have authorised Northumbria Police to charge Steven John Grieveson, also known as Steven John Field, with one count of murder, after careful consideration of new evidence in this case.
“The charge relates to the discovery of the body of 14-year-old Simon Martin at a derelict property in Sunderland, on May 26, 1990.
“This decision was taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors.”
At its height, a murder probe involved a team of 70 detectives, with officers also carrying out extensive fingertip searches and forensic examinations at the scene.
The death of Simon, from Southwick, was the third tragedy to hit his family and school.
In 1988, his father Robert, an ex-soldier and keep-fit enthusiast, was crippled in a climbing accident.
The former miner at Wearmouth Colliery was left confined to a wheelchair.
Just two months before the tragedy, the family was also devastated by the death of the youngster’s uncle, who was found hanged.
It was also the third death to hit Monkwearmouth School, where he was a pupil, within a year.
Earlier, an 11-year-old was swept to her death by a huge wave at Seaburn and a 13-year-old boy died in an explosion at his home in Roker.
Speaking at the time, friends and neighbours described Simon as a “very bright lad and always polite”.
The investigation also led to a “five-figure payout” to a man wrongly accused of his murder.
Alvin White was under the shadow of suspicion after his arrest for the murder of his schoolmate.
He was just 16 when he was arrested after police claimed they had found his fingerprint at the scene, in what they believed to be Simon’s blood.
However, the case was dropped in October 1990 when a “failure” was revealed in the forensics.
After failing in a bid to sue Northumbria Police a decade after the death, he received a payment from the Home Office in 2002.