Mum of murdered school girl escapes jail over harassment case
THE mother of a murdered schoolgirl who harassed a man she claimed had evidence to catch her daughter’s killer has been given a suspended prison sentence.
Sharon Henderson, whose daughter Nikki Allan was stabbed to death in Sunderland’s East End, was handed the punishment after being found guilty of targeting a former neighbour.
The mum, who has campaigned for justice since the seven-year-old was murdered in 1992, was convicted of two charges after a trial.
It was said the 46-year-old, who appeared at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court under her maiden name Prest, launched a series of “abusive and threatening attacks” against the householder and his wife.
The court was told how he was said to have visited Henderson and her friend Christine Hope at her home, after she earlier confronted his family over claims he had “new evidence” in Nikki’s case.
The trial was told how the defendant made repeated visits to the his home, sometimes late at night, terrifying his wife and children.
She was also said to have posted his address and photograph on her Facebook page.
This week, Henderson, of Rosslyn Avenue, Sunderland, was given a 12-week suspended sentence by magistrates, a restraining order preventing her contacting the victims, and told to pay £300 costs.
In defence, Chris Morrison said his client had no previous record of harassment and that her daughter’s murder had “overshadowed every facet of her life”.
He added: “It has governed relationships and patterns of behaviour. It has overshadowed her life in a very damaging way.”
At the earlier hearing, Henderson said she reported the claims of new evidence to police, but officers did not take them further.
Giving evidence, the neighbour’s wife said her family had been forced to install a panic alarm at their home and, later, move away from the neighbourhood because of the abuse.
“She would come round late at night, banging and kicking the door and shouting abuse,” she said.
“I was frightened and scared and the children were terrified.”
The neighbour, who denied having any information about the 1992 murder, which remains unsolved, said: “The threats that had been posted on Facebook were unbelievable, especially when my photograph was put on it.
“It had been taken from my own page. I was more worried about the safety of my wife and kids.”
The court was told how a previous case of criminal damage against Henderson was dropped.
She faced charges of causing £300 of damage to the neighbour’s works van, on September 1.
She had denied the offence and was due to go to trial, but the case was kicked out when the neighbour and his wife failed to appear to give evidence.
Henderson declined to comment after this week’s case.
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