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Man arrested in child murder cold case takes selfies on Portuguese beach after skipping bail

The Independent logo The Independent 27/07/2016 Caroline Mortimer

image © Provided by Independent Print Limited image An alleged child murderer who fled the UK while on bail has posted photos of him “drinking beer in the sunshine”.

James Watson was arrested in April on suspicion of the murder of six-year-old Rikki Neave who was found naked and strangled in a patch of woodland in Peterborough in 1994.

But after being released on police bail, he absconded from a hostel in Northamptonshire last month and smuggled himself out of the UK in a mobile home.

He is now believed to be hiding in Portugal from where he has posted a string of photos of him enjoying himself on the beach, the Mirror reports.

In a string of messages on Facebook he said: "The best thing is I don't even have a passport. I just walked out of our country.

"Me and a mate left the UK in a mobile home.

"Booked it on the ferry, drove on and that was that. No checks, nothing."

He said he was “getting the sun on me and making some memories for dark days” and said the recent months had been the “most stressful” of his life.

The 35-year-old said the charges were “all b******” and claimed they came after an ex-girlfriend said he tried to strangle her during sex.

Watson said she had made the allegations up because she was mad he later came out as gay.

The convicted arsonist was first arrested in April in connection with the murder and was held for several days of questioning before being bailed on 15 June.

Police were made aware that he had breached his bail conditions on 15 July and said they were working with their Portuguese counterparts to find him and bring him back to the UK.

Schoolboy Rikki went missing near the Welland Estate in Peterborough on 28 November 1994 and was found the following day in a woodland nearby. 

His mother, Ruth Neave, was originally charged with his murder but was found not guilty by a jury in 1996.

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire Police said: "We have reason to believe that the 35-year-old man from Peterborough who was arrested in connection with the historic murder of six-year-old Rikki Neave left the country while on police bail.

"We have been in communication with him and are working with him and partner agencies in order for him to return to the UK promptly."

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