Sunderland mum of murdered Nikki Allan in court over arson attack

Sharon Henderson.
Sharon Henderson.

The mum of murdered Sunderland schoolgirl Nikki Allan has appeared in court after setting fire to a neighbour’s shed.

Sharon Henderson, 51, appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court charged with criminal damage and arson.

The victim of the attack is a neighbour of Henderson, who lives in St Patrick’s Terrace, in Ryhope.

Appearing at court Henderson, of St Patrick’s Terrace, pleaded guilty to both charges against her.

Magistrates handed her a conditional discharge for the offences, while she was also ordered to pay compensation of £100 towards the repair of the shed.

The 25th anniversary of Nikki’s brutal murder was marked earlier this month with detectives and her family renewing appeals for information.

The seven-year-old vanished while walking home to her flat in Wear Garth, Hendon, on October 7, 1992.

Her body was found next day in the derelict Quayside Exchange building, just yards away.

She had been repeatedly stabbed.

No-one has been convicted of her murder.

Northumbria Police confirmed in April that it was dedicating a new forensics team to the investigation and would be revisiting the DNA evidence.

The force revealed last week that officers had recovered further forensic results, including some DNA from a male, and were appealing for any man who may have innocently come into contact with Nikki to come forward so they can be eliminated from enquiries.

Detectives leafleted fans ahead of Sunderland’s game against Queen’s Park Rangers on Saturday, with an appeal featuring on the Stadium of Light’s screens.

In an emotional appeal to the public, Sharon said earlier this month: “If anybody went into that building, they really need to tell the police.

“I lived down there and I did not know people were getting in.

“If anybody thinks there is any chance their DNA could have been in there, they need to come forward.

“The police want to eliminate everybody from the DNA they have got.”

Anyone with any information into Nikki’s murder is asked to contact police on 101 or independent charity Crimestoppers, which is offering a £10,000 reward, on 0800 555 111.