THE mother of murdered Sunderland schoolgirl Nikki Allan is to launch a fresh appeal in a bid to find her killer more than 22 years after the youngster’s death.
The seven-year-old disappeared after leaving her grandparents’ home in Wear Garth, in the city’s East End, on October 7, 1992.
Her shoes were discovered outside the derelict exchange building in High Street East the next day, and her body was discovered inside by a neighbour assisting police with a search.
Now, mum Sharon Henderson has joined forces with the police in a fresh bid to encourage anyone with any knowledge about the crime to come forward.
She hopes the time of year will jog the consciences of people withholding information about the killing.
“I have never done a Christmas appeal before, and I can only pray this does some good in bringing people forward,” said Sharon.
“We know there are people out there with information and just not coming forward.
“I have said from the very beginning that I believe there was more than one person involved in Nikki’s death.”
George Heron, 24, was originally charged with Nikki’s murder, but he was cleared by a jury at Leeds Crown Court in 1993 after Judge Stephen Mitchell refused to allow some taped police interviews to be submitted in evidence.
The judge accused the force of oppressive questioning and misrepresenting evidence, both charges the police denied.
Heron left Sunderland after receiving threats.
Sharon brought a civil case against him in 1994, accusing him of battery of her child, resulting in her death.
The court found in her favour and Heron was ordered to pay Sharon £7,000 in damages, but he could not be traced.
Interest in the case was reignited last year after Crimewatch screened a reconstruction of Nikki’s disappearance to mark the 21st anniversary of her death.
Earlier this year, police arrested a 47-year-old Sunderland man on suspicion of killing Nikki.
He was questioned and initially bailed, but bail was subsequently cancelled, and he has faced no further action.