Mum of murdered Nikki Allan welcomes progress on the case as she relives painful memories

The mother of murdered schoolgirl Nikki Allan says she is pleased with the progress of a new inquiry into the long-running case .

Monday, 12th March 2018, 5:00 am
Updated Monday, 12th March 2018, 6:35 am
Sharon Henderson, with a photo of Nikki Allan.

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

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

Nikki Allan

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Neighbour George Heron was charged with he murder but acquitted after a trial judge accused police of heavy-handed tactics and refused to allow the jury to hear a taped confession

Northumbria Police announced in April that it was establishing a new forensics team dedicated to finding her killer.

Nikki’s mum Sharon Henderson has campaigned for justice since her daughter’s death and has now had another meeting with Detective Chief Inspector Lisa Theaker, who is leading the hunt for Nikki’s killer.

“It was a good meeting,” said Sharon. “We have not known each other that long but I do feel I can trust her.

Nikki Allan

“She is very, very positive. She told me they have had to move to another part of the police station because there are more on the team.

“It is the most positive they have ever been about Nikki’s case.”

Sharon has been forced to relieve some difficult memories as part of the investigation, but believes it will be worth every second if it helps to catch Nikki’s killer.

“I have had to go through some difficult things in the past couple of weeks,” she said.

“That was painful, but that is how I know they are doing their job - 25 years later they are asking me about the things they should have done in the past.”

Nikki vanished on the short walk home from her grandfather Dickie’s flat in Wear Garth in October 1992.

More than 100 people turned out to join in the search for her.

After the murder trial collapsed, Sharon brought a civil case against George Heron, charging him with “battery on the child, resulting in her death.”

A court found in her favour and ordered him to pay more than £7,000, but he could not be traced and the money was never paid.

Northumbria Police arrested Sunderland serial killer Steven Grieveson on suspicion of Nikki’s murder in February 2014.

He was questioned but detectives later confirmed he would face no further action.

Anyone with information on Nikki’s murder should ring Northumbria Police on 101.