Judge warns mum of murdered Sunderland schoolgirl Nikki Allan after she admits breach of restraining order against pub owners
The mum of murdered Sunderland schoolgirl Nikki Allan has been warned by a judge to stop her online harassment of the owners of a city pub after inflammatory posts made on Facebook.
Sharon Henderson, 52, admitted a charge of harassment at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court after which district judge Vince McDade told her “not to continue with this course of action” in relation to comments posted on the social networking site in relation to the owners of the Guide Post pub in Ryhope.
Henderson’s seven-year-old daughter Nikki was brutally murdered at the former Quayside Exchange building in October 1992.
Nikki had been walking to her Wear Garth home close by when she disappeared.
She had been repeatedly stabbed.
No-one has since been convicted of her murder.
Earlier this year Henderson, of Duke Street North, Sunderland, was charged with an offence under the Communications Act.
She agreed to a restraining order barring her from making any mention online of the Guide Post’s landlord Keith Dewart, his wife Julie and customer Caroline Richards or communicating with them directly or indirectly and a formal verdict of not guilty was recorded in the case.
But last month a complaint was made after Henderson posted comments on Facebook.
Prosecutor Laura Lax told the hearing: “Mr Dewart noticed that there had been a Facebook post made saying “Them at the Guide Post need to shut the **** up it’s not a joke.
“I will never ignore or put up with this sick scum.”
Ms Lax added: “The crown say that that is a breach of the restraining order.”
After initially pleading not guilty to the offence of harassment by breach of a restraining order after acquittal, Henderson changed her plea to guilty.
Jason Smith, mitigating, said: “I don’t particularly want to pursue the background of this case.
“It’s a very minor breach of the order.”
Mr McDade handed Henderson a conditional discharge for 12 months while also ordering her to pay £85 in costs and a £20 victim surcharge.
“I give you credit for your guilty plea,” said Mr McDade.
“If you are back before the court for this or any other offence you will have to be dealt with.
“The way forward is not to continue with this course of action.”
George Heron was initially charged with Nikki’s murder but acquitted after a trial judge accused police of heavy-handed tactics and refused to allow the jury to hear a taped confession.
Henderson brought a civil case against him in 1994, and won.
He was ordered to pay over £7,000, but he could not be traced.
Sunderland serial killer Steven Grieveson was questioned about the murder in 2014 but no further action was taken.
Northumbria Police set up a new team to investigate the killing in April 2017 and on the 25th anniversary of Nikki’s death, announced they had succeeded in recovering new DNA from an unknown male.
They appealed for any men who may have been in contact with Nikki or in the area of the crime scene to come forward.
Police confirmed in April last year that they had arrested a new suspect.
The Echo understands the latest development in the case involves the arrest of the same man.
Sharon, who has campaigned for justice ever since Nikki’s murder, said: “They have said it will take some time because they have got to look at every single thing before they make that final decision to charge.”