It was a day Sharon Henderson surely believed was never going to come.
After 31 torturous years, the man who murdered her beloved daughter, Nikki Allan in 1992 was brought to justice. David Boyd was found guilty of murdering the seven-year-old at Newcastle Crown Court on Friday afternoon and huge cheers rang out through the courtroom.
On the steps outside of the Quayside court as the rain poured down, Nikki’s family stood in tears, hugging and kissing each other – it was finally some sense of closure. Relief was evident on their faces as they cheered “Justice for Nikki Allan” – but despite the celebrations, many of her family members still have questions regarding the police investigation.
But now, 55-year-old Boyd is behind bars awaiting his sentence later this month, and is looking at spending the rest of his life locked up. Speaking about the monumental verdict, Sharon who stood in shock and disbelief, said: “I just feel numb, shocked. I felt the injustice of it all – that Nikki’s case was not done properly and how this evil man was able to slip through the net.
“I still feel injustice to this day. Nikki is my daughter and I love her. Mentally I’ve been affected really bad…we are going to ask for a police inquiry. Shame on them.”
Among Nikki’s family who had attended court was her sister, Stacy Allan, 39, who said the last 31 years had been tough for everyone. She said: “This is the best day of my life. I couldn’t believe it when I heard (the verdict) I screamed to the jury “yes!” and they all smiled at me.
“For 31 years it destroyed my life. But there are so many injustices and questions need to be asked, but I’m happy for that for now.”
Despite the overwhelming evidence against him, Boyd consistently denied that he had any involvement in Nikki’s death and denied murder. But after two and a half hours of deliberation, the jury announced the guilty verdict.
Assistant Chief Constable Brad Howe, of Northumbria Police, said: “Today is about justice – for Nikki and her family. We thank them for their patience and strength over the last 30 years and our thoughts very much continue to be with them.
“David Boyd hid his crime, lying about his involvement and prolonging the family’s suffering, knowing all along that he had taken the life of their little girl. The investigation into Nikki’s murder has been one of the most complex and comprehensive ever conducted by Northumbria Police.
“I’m extremely proud of the investigative team and all those who played their part in securing this conviction. I further hope this sends a strong message that no matter how long ago an offence took place, we will do everything we can to see justice served.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Lisa Theaker, the senior investigating officer in the case, added: “Nikki would have been 37 now and who knows what her life could have been. But her future has cruelly taken away her by David Boyd. The pain and suffering that he has caused, and to so many people, is immeasurable.
“This is a huge day for Nikki’s family. I would like to thank them for their incredible strength – after 30 years, they have justice. Since 2017, as an investigative team, we have worked tirelessly on what has been a complex and challenging case. Our commitment has always been to find the person responsible and ensure they were brought to justice.
“New forensic techniques were a key part in this investigation, and we have been supported by incredible experts, witnesses and specialists who have helped us discover and prove who was responsible.”
Boyd will be sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court on May 23.
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