Paedophile who murdered Nikki Allan launches appeal against conviction

Paedophile who was jailed for murdering Nikki Allan in 1992 launches appeal against his conviction and 29-year prison term

  • David Boyd lured seven-year-old away before stabbing her 37 times to kill her 

The paedophile who murdered seven-year-old Nikki Allan has launched an appeal against his conviction and 29-year prison sentence. 

David Boyd, 55, lured the young schoolgirl away and brutally murdered her in October 1992 before escaping justice for 30 years.  

Her skull was smashed with a brick and her body stabbed 37 times by Boyd, a man she knew well from the block of flats in Sunderland where they lived.

Her body was found inside a derelict building the next day by local residents searching for the missing girl.

Boyd had a previous history of sexual offences involving young girls. He was found guilty in 2022 at Newcastle Crown Court of murder and sentenced to a minimum term of 29 years.

David Boyd, 55, who murdered seven-year-old Nikki Allan has launched an appeal against his conviction and 29-year prison sentence

Nikki, from Sunderland, was horrifically murdered in 1992 by Boyd, who was not arrested until 2017

Nikki’s body was found inside a derelict building the next day by local residents searching for the missing girl

He has now lodged an appeal against his conviction and the length of his sentence, which may have been even longer if the murder had taken place more recently.

READ MORE: Innocent man wrongly accused of Nikki Allan’s 1992 murder breaks his silence: Neighbour cleared at trial tells how botched police probe ‘destroyed’ his life and demands answers over why it took so long for justice – as real killer is jailed for 29 years

Nikki’s mother Sharon Henderson has spoken out against Boyd, expressing her shock to find out he is appealing. 

‘He had his opportunity to protest his innocence in court. But he did not say a word,’ she told The Mirror.

Northumbria Police Commissioner Kim McGuinness, who reportedly spoke with Ms Henderson about the appeal, said that Boyd has put Nikki’s family through a ‘horrendous ordeal’ and must ‘face his actions’.

‘I hope the courts do the right thing and throw out this appeal and end this woman’s torment,’ she told the paper.

Nikki’s brutal murder shook residents on the Wear Garth estate in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear.

Boyd, then aged 25, gave a ‘false alibi’ and admitted he was the last man to see her alive.

But police suspected a different man, George Heron, who was found not guilty of murder at Leeds Crown Court in 1993.

Mr Heron, who was 23 years old at the time, was subjected to oppressive questioning by police and made a false ‘confession’ which was ruled inadmissible by a judge.

He later told how his life was ‘destroyed’ by the false accusations and demanded answers over why it took so long for justice. 

Convicted paedophile David Boyd (pictured), 55, was found guilty of Nikki Allan’s murder

Seven-year-old Nikki Allan (pictured) was lured to her death more than 30 years ago

Years on, advances in science helped to reveal that Boyd’s DNA was on Nikki’s clothing in four areas.

READ MORE: How Nikki Allan’s mother finally got justice… after 30 years: Heartbroken parent of seven-year-old girl never stopped trying to track down the child’s killer – and hounded police until they used new DNA technique to nail the murderer 

Almost 25 years after he murdered her, police went to his home in 2017 to obtain a fresh DNA sample – which matched the Y DNA on the clothing.

During Boyd’s trial in June this year, the court heard that Boyd, now 55, had a girlfriend who was a regular babysitter for Nikki.

Prosecutor Richard Wright KC told the court that on the night of her murder, Nikki was playing after dark in the courtyard. 

At 9.30pm she had visited the nearby Boars Heard pub, telling a local she was ‘waiting for her mam’. A witness then saw her skipping along with what they assumed was her father. 

She was last captured on CCTV at 9.57pm close to the derelict building where her body was found the next day. 

Shortly after 10pm a woman described hearing what she thought were two screams from a girl while another described the noise as a ‘cat wailing’.

A search mission was launched soon after Nikki failed to return home.

Her coat and shoes were found outside the derelict building and her dead body was in the basement.  

Mr Wright said evidence found that she was first attacked outside before being forced through a high window into the basement.

Nikki (picutred) had been playing outside the Garth flats where she lived and was seen skipping behind a suspect, now known to be Boyd

The crime scene in the Old Exchange Building in Sunderland’s East End where Nikki was brutally murdered in 1992

Sharon Henderson and David Allan at the funeral of their daughter Nikki in October 1992

She had been stabbed 37 times in the heart and lungs. 

The court heard that Boyd had struck Nikki in the face ‘to shut her up’ and then killed. ‘Her fear, as she saw you lurching towards her in the dark, is unimaginable,’ Boyd was told in court. ‘It must have been a truly terrifying experience for this seven-year-old girl.’

During police investigations, Boyd told officers he had gone out to buy fish and chips after 9.30pm and by 10pm he was home. At trial the prosecution argued he had changed the timings to give himself an alibi. 

Police did not treat him as a suspect at the time and it was not until April 2018 that he was finally arrested for Nikki’s murder.  

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