Mum of murdered schoolgirl Nikki Allan welcomes latest arrest

Sharon Henderson with a picture of her daughter Nikki Allan
Sharon Henderson with a picture of her daughter Nikki Allan

The mother of murdered Sunderland schoolgirl Nikki Allan has welcomed news police have made an arrest as the hunt for her killer continues.

The seven-year-old was found just yards from her home in Hendon in October 1992.

Nikki Allan

Nikki Allan

She had vanished while walking home to her flat in Wear Garth and her body was discovered next day in the derelict Quayside Exchange building in High Street East.

She had been repeatedly stabbed.

Sharon’s neighbour 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.

Sharon, 51, brought a civil case against him in 1994, and won. He was ordered to pay over £7,000, but he could not be traced.

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,”

Sharon Henderson

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.
A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: “This week, a man was arrested in connection with the investigation into the death of Sunderland schoolgirl Nikki Allan.

Forensic officers at the scene of Nikki Allan's murder in October 1992.

Forensic officers at the scene of Nikki Allan's murder in October 1992.

“He has since been released under investigation. Enquiries are ongoing.”

The Echo understands the latest development involves a rearrest of the same man.

Nikki’s mum Sharon Henderson, who has campaigned for justice for her daughter for more than a quarter of a century, is pleased that police have kept her up to date with the latest developments.

“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,” she said.

Sharon has been outspoken in the past about the failings of the investigation but is happier with the new team: “This time i feel as if they are telling me more about the case,” she said.

“I am so pleased it has got this far.”