RIKKI Neave’s killer has lost an appeal against his conviction for killing the six-year-old.
James Watson was just 13 when he strangled Rikki to death five minutes from his home in Peterborough, Cambs, in 1994.
Watson, now 40, was found guilty of murder last June and sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 15 years.
He lost an appeal against his conviction today after filing a bid with the Court of Appeal.
More than 20 years after the murder, Watson was eventually charged with Rikki’s murder when his DNA was found on the boy’s clothing.
The youngster’s mother, Ruth Neave, stood trial for murder but was acquitted – leading to a 27-year criminal case.
She had called 999 on the evening of November 28, 1994 to report her son missing.
Rikki’s body was discovered the next day by a police officer in a wooded area near the Peterborough housing estate where he lived.
Watson strangled Rikki and then, for his sexual gratification, placed the naked youth “deliberately in a star shape with his arms outstretched and his legs wide apart”.
Shockingly, the killer stayed with Rikki’s body for an hour before leaving the boy uncovered in the woods.