'We would never celebrate the death of a child' - people targeted by online comments deny disrespect to memory of murdered Nikki Allan

Nikki Allan
Nikki Allan

Two people targeted by Sharon Henderson online have denied they meant any disrespect to the memory of murdered Nikki Allan.

Nikki’s mother Sharon Henderson appeared at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court yesterday, charged with an offence under the Communications Act.

But the prosecution produced no evidence after she agreed to a restraining order barring her from making any online mention of the Guide Post pub, landlord Keith Dewart, his wife Julie and customer Caroline Richards, or communicating with them directly or indirectly.

Caroline Richards revealed she had herself lost two children.

Her baby boy Jaxon Hedley died in 2007, aged just seven months, and her 17-year-old son Ross Richards passed away in August 2011, two years after suffering severe brain damage in a diabetes-related fit.

“Everyone says Sharon Henderson is a grieving mother – but she is not the only one,” she said.

“I have lost two. We would never celebrate the death of a child.”

Keith Dewart, landlord of the Guide Post pub in Ryhope, said the photo which had upset Sharon Henderson – showing people in the bar with rodent teeth – had been in response to

Henderson labelling them “rats” online and was not intended to mock Nikki’s death in any way.

“She is trying to insinuate we were taking the Mickey out of her child’s death,” he said.

“That is not only unfair, it is hurtful to us.

“Everybody wants justice for what happened to that bairn.

“What we were saying was ‘Call us what you want, we don’t care, we have done nothing wrong’.”