James Watson was sentenced to life in prison in 1994 for the murder of Reiki New.


The child’s killer has been sentenced to at least 15 years in prison for the 1994 murder of six-year-old Reiki New.

James Watson was 13 when he took schoolboy Ricky into the woods near his home in Peterborough and strangled him to fulfill a “wishful thinking” about which he I told my mother three days ago.

He snatched Ricky and posed naked for sexual gratification, deliberately “exhibiting” him near the children’s forest base.

His sentence was largely determined by the age at which he struck.

The judge, Justice McGowan, said: “Ricky was a child who was ready to trust and engage with strangers.

Ricky New was assassinated by James Watson in 1994 (Cambridgeshire Police / PA) / PA Media

“He never had a chance to be happy and live a normal and fulfilling life. This opportunity was turned down by his murder.

Watson did not show any emotion after being sentenced.

The judge said he would be released only after completing a minimum of 15 years – less than two years in custody – and that once the parole board was satisfied, he posed no further threat to the public. Will not.

Ricky’s murder was one of the coldest cases on police files until a re-investigation of the case two decades later revealed Watson’s DNA on the victim’s clothing.

Ruth New, a mother of four, was acquitted of her son’s murder in 1996 but was sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to child abuse – a sentence she was sentenced to pay. Many years after her release, she is considering a challenge.

She did not appear in court for the sentencing hearing.

In a statement read out by him, a witness said: “Like rocks falling into a pond, this (murder) has spread far and wide.

“Ricky’s murder left a big hole in our lives and in our hearts.

“I miss him so much that I feel like my heart is broken.”

James Watson, now 41, was convicted of killing Ricky New in April 1994 (CPS / PA). / PA Media

Reiki ‘s eldest sister, Rebecca Maria Harvey, broke down while addressing the court.

He said: “Even though I was the eldest, he did not take care of me.

“Losing Ricky was like losing my other half.”

Addressing Watson, but not using his name, he said: “After so many years of your life, you finally arrived, and Ricky Lee Harvey finally got justice.”

Body in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, where the body of six-year-old Ricky New was found in November 1994 (Allen Waters / PA) / PA Wire

Watson, now 41, was convicted of murder in April by a jury that took 36 hours and 31 minutes to reach a majority after an 11-week trial.

Ricky’s body was found on November 29, 1994, the day after he went missing.

Watson was obsessed with newspaper coverage of the murder, mimicking front-page stories at school.

He was interviewed by police the following month as a witness when an elderly resident reported seeing him with Ricky in nearby Welland State.

Her false account was not challenged, as police incorrectly focused on a theory that Ms. New killed her son and used a small car to dump his body.

The prosecution initially felt that there was still insufficient evidence to prosecute, but withdrew its decision after Ms. Navy and Ricky’s sisters demanded the victim’s right to a review.

Key evidence included Ricky’s last meal at the VitaBooks, which scheduled his death around noon.

This meant that Ricky was killed shortly after he was seen walking into the woods with Watson, where he was playing.

Clark’s slippery Reiki shoes also indicated that his trip to the woods was a one-way street.

Watson’s sexual interest in young boys was known to police, who interviewed him in 1993 for allegedly abusing a five-year-old boy.

An ex-girlfriend later said she strangled him during sex in the woods and killed a bird and spread its wings, in a horrific reconstruction of Ricky’s murder.

The judge said there was no evidence of sexual activity with Ricky’s body, although Watson had “sexual interest in little boys.”

In a 2016 police interview, Watson tried to explain the presence of his DNA on Ricky’s clothes and claimed that he had picked it up to see diggers through a hole in the fence.

Watson, who has a long criminal record, including car theft, escaped to Portugal on bail on suspicion of murder, but was extradited back to Britain.