Murder accused David Boyd will not be giving evidence to jurors trying him for allegedly killing schoolgirl Nikki Allan.
Boyd is accused of luring the seven-year-old away and murdering her in a derelict building in Sunderland by smashing her head with a brick and repeatedly stabbing her. He denies murder and is being tried by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court.
After the prosecution case closed, the stage was reached where Boyd had the opportunity to give evidence in his defence but the court was told he would not be doing so.
Trial judge Mrs Justice Lambert asked his barrister, Jason Pitter KC if Boyd was aware the stage had been reached at which he could give evidence and he said he did. He further confirmed that he was aware that it was permissable for jurors to draw “such inferences as would appear proper” from his decision not to do so.
In his closing speech to jurors, prosecutor Richard Wright KC said the killer had dumped Nikki’s body “like a sack of rubbish” in the most distant room of the derelict building after something “sinister” happened outside, where Nikki’s shoe and coat came off.
Mr Wright said: “Something happened to her outside the building when she was out of view and had been taken to the wasteground. Whatever it was, isn’t it an irresistible, sensible conclusion it was sinister.
“She had not been taken there to admire the grounds of the Old Exchange building. That sinister thing led to the man hitting her and cutting her mouth with a slap or punch before she went into the building.
“So before she went into that building she was scared and she was injured and she was bleeding because that man had done something to her to scare her and something to necessitate him hitting her, perhaps to silence that first scream but certainly because something had happened between them to lose her shoe and lose her coat and to be bleeding.
“No more skipping along, no more happy to be there. Scared, frightened and bleeding and the last place that a scared, frightened and bleeding seven-year-old girl would want to go to, the very last place was through that window, a gap in the window this little girl could not have reached on her own.”
Mr Wright said jurors “can be sure” Boyd is the killer. He added: “He may not have the courage to take the walk from the dock into the witness box but he is the man who took the walk from the outside of The Boars Head down and over the wall and into the Old Exchange building when he murdered NIkki Allan on October 7, 1992.
“From the moment he did something to her and and hit her he just couldn’t let her go because what would she do. She would tell her mum.
“So he put her through the window, climbed in after her, stalked her to the end room, crushed her skull with a brick, pulled up her top and exposed her chest and stabbed her again and again and again.
“Then he dragged her to the cellar with her head bouncing off every step as he went and he hid her where, no doubt, he thought there was the best chance she would not be found.”
Jurors have heard how the seven-year-old was seen “skipping to her death” behind a man who had allegedly lured her away after she was seen waiting for her mum outside a pub in Sunderland. Witness accounts described Nikki heading toward the derelict Old Exchange building with the man on the night of October 7, 1992 and she was described as appearing “comfortable in the company of her killer”.
Piercing screams and unnerving noises were then heard from the area of the building by people who were in the area at the time. Meanwhile a frantic search had begun for the youngster after her family realised she was missing.
One woman who saw a child skipping to keep up with a man that night helped a police artist draw sketches of the suspect, which prosecutors were shown alongside a photograph of Boyd from around the same time. Prosecutors say the sketches bear a “striking resemblance” to the accused.
Residents and police spend the night looking for Nikki and the following morning her shoes and coat were found outside the Old Exchange building. A 16-year-old and his stepdad then made the horrific discovery of the youngster’s badly injured body in the corner a dark room in the basement of the building.
The court heard she had been smashed over the head with a brick before being stabbed in the chest dozens of times. She was then dragged by her ankles from the room where the attack happened down the the basement where she was found.
Jurors were shown pictures from inside the building showing the scene of he attack, which was heavily bloodstained both on the floor and wall. Images also depicted drag marks leading to her body.
A pathologist told how she had been repeatedly stabbed in the chest, including eight to the heart and 28 to the lung and part of her skull had been smashed into fragments.
Another man stood trial for Nikki’s murder in 1993 but was cleared. The court has heard Boyd’s DNA was found on Nikki’s clothing. Yesterday jurors were told Boyd is a convicted sex offender who fantasised about young girls in the past.
The 55-year-old denies murder and the trial continues.
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