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Man denies 1992 murder of Sunderland schoolgirl Nikki Allan

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A man accused of the murder of a schoolgirl who was stabbed to death 30 years ago has denied the charge.

Seven-year-old Nikki Allan vanished on Wednesday, October 7, 1992 after leaving her grandparents’ flat in Wear Garth, Sunderland.

The next morning, Nikki’s school shoes were found a few hundred yards away outside of the Old Exchange building. Her body was discovered lying in a pool of blood inside the derelict building by a neighbour who was helping the police with their search for the missing youngster. She had been stabbed 37 times.

David Boyd, of Chesterton Court, Norton, Stockton-on-Tees, appeared at Newcastle Crown Court on the morning of Monday, June 20, where he faced a charge of murder.

The 54-year-old appeared via video link where he pleaded not guilty to the offence during the short, 25-minute hearing.

A trial had originally been listed to start on January 11 next year but the court heard it may now be put back until April 19. Any trial could last up to six weeks.

Boyd was remanded in custody in the meantime.

Judge Paul Sloan QC informed the court that a further pre-trial hearing will now take place on Monday, November 7.

The judge told Boyd: “I am adjourning your case to trial. The precise trial date will be confirmed, hopefully in the next few days.

“There will be at least one further pre-trial hearing before the trial date.

“In due course you will be required to provide a defence statement, setting out in detail your defence to the charge you face.”

Nikki’s mother Sharon Henderson sat in the public gallery for the hearing. She burst into tears when the charge was read out, was consoled by supporters and the court usher gave her a tissue.

After Boyd was charged, Northumbria Police Assistant Chief Constable David Felton said: “This is an extremely tragic case and our thoughts very much continue to be with the family and friends of Nikki Allan.

“A significant investigation has been ongoing ever since Nikki’s death 30 years ago.

“As with any unsolved cases of this nature, they are never closed. Our dedicated teams constantly review the evidence and follow any new investigative leads that may come to light.”

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Northumberland man accused of murdering his terminally ill wife faces trial in Cyprus

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North East Updates

Sky News reports that David Hunter, a 75-year-old man originally from Northumberland, will appear in a Cypriot court on Thursday accused of murdering his terminally ill wife last December.

 

Mr Hunter allegedly suffocated Janice, his wife of 56 years, before attempting to end his own life by taking an overdose. The former miner faces a life sentence if found guilty, after his request for the alternative charge of “assisted suicide” was rejected.

 

Lesley Cawthorne, the couple’s daughter, told Sky News of how her father is “haunted” by memories of her mother “screaming in pain” during her battle with terminal blood cancer, and is asking the Cypriot judges to show compassion.

 

“My mum made her wishes clear and my dad helped her.

 

“She just wanted it to end. She didn’t want to fight. She didn’t want treatment.

 

“She didn’t want a long, protracted death. She’d had enough and she just wanted to go.”

 

The trial will be heard by three judges on Thursday and Friday with further hearings expected over the coming weeks, and will be the first euthanasia case heard in Cyprus.

 

Follow our page for updates.

 

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Met Office hints at a North East heatwave with temperatures set to soar this week

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Newcastle Gateshead Sunny

Temperatures in the North East are set to reach up to 24°C by Friday, with temperatures gradually increasing throughout the week.

So, after a gloomy start to June, it looks like summer is finally about to kick in across England this week. Meteorologists are hinting at a possible turning point with a mini-heatwave on its way, hailing increasing Mercury levels.

Stephen Dixon, Met Office Spokesperson, said that “temperatures in the southeast could reach around 33°C on Friday, with temperatures in the northeast likely to be in the mid-to-high 20s for many”.

Some isolated spots in the northeast could even enjoy temperatures up to 29°C for some time on Friday.

“Although areas further south will see the highest temperatures, figures in the northeast of England will still be very warm for the time of year when they peak on Friday”, Dixon added.

These unprecedented temperatures are a result of a persistent area of high pressure over much of the UK and warm air from the continent nudging temperatures up well beyond their average for this time of the year.

However, those wanting to enjoy the sun are advised to make the most out of this week. A cold front is moving in from the north from Saturday, bringing with it uncertainty and a risk of showers. This will see the temperatures drop back to around 18°C.

How will you be making the most of the heatwave this weekend? Let us know!

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Pet owner devastated after beloved dog is stabbed and dies in Gateshead

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An owner has been left devastated after his beloved pet dog tragically passed away after being “stabbed” in Gateshead.

Kyle Mason, 28, said his staffordshire bull terrier, Robbie, who was around three or four years old, got out and found his way into a back alley near his home in Bensham on May 5. But when Kyle found him, he was covered in blood.

He immediately called the vets and got an emergency appointment at a nearby PDSA hospital where they treated two large gashes on his body. Kyle was due to return to the vets with Robbie the following morning but tragically his beloved pet passed away during the night.

The sudden loss of Robbie has left Kyle heartbroken and shaken saying: “Robbie got out and went out the back alley and when he came back he was covered in blood. I just started panicking because I’m autistic so I was just panicking really bad. I just didn’t know what had happened.

“I had to get an emergency appointment and I took him to the vets. We got back and he was supposed to go back to the vets in the morning but he passed away during the night.

“This has really hit me. I’m having nightmares, I wake up thinking I’ve been stabbed and keep having to check I haven’t been stabbed when I wake up.

“Robbie was a great support for me, he helped a lot with my autism. He was always there when I was crying or emotional, he was such a loving dog. He was just fantastic, I miss him so much.”

Kyle reported the incident to Northumbria Police and the RSPCA but no charges have been brought against anyone yet. He said RSPCA officers came to see Robbie and confirmed it looked like he had been stabbed.

He said Robbie was “an innocent dog” and said the incident has caused him “a great deal of stress”. Kyle said: “There seems to be a lot of animal cruelty happening at the moment and it’s just disgraceful. Robbie was just an innocent dog, no animal deserves this. I just wanted to raise awareness.

“I rescued him after I saw him being advertised as dog bait and now this has happened. I’ve just lost my older dog in 2020 who I had since I was a young child and now Robbie has died so it’s a short time between them. I’m autistic and have mental health issues so this had caused me a great deal of stress.”

A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: “On May 5 we were made aware of a dog that had been attacked in the Saltwell Road area of Gateshead. A full investigation has since been carried out into the incident, but there has so far been insufficient evidence to seek a criminal prosecution.

“Anyone with information is asked to contact police via the ‘Tell Us Something’ page of our website or by calling 101 quoting crime number 054150A/22.”

An RSPCA spokesperson said: “We were called to a property in Bensham and sadly found the dog had died from his injuries. Anyone with information about how the dog became injured should call the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999, or contact Northumbria Police.”

RIP Robbie, you were a good boy, we hope you find justice <3

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