Inside derelict warehouse where Nikki Allan, 7, was found dead after David Boyd stabbed her 37 times thirty years ago | The Sun

SHOCKING photos reveal inside an abandoned building where a seven-year-old girl was found dead after being stabbed 37 times by a sex offender.

Nikki Allan's family never gave up their fight to see her killer caught after the youngster was lured to her death in a derelict warehouse 300 yards from their home in Sunderland's East End in 1992.

Now neighbour David Boyd has been found guilty of murdering Nikki, after a trial at Newcastle Crown Court – a verdict welcomed by police, who have released images of the murder scene as well as footage of the moment the sighing killer was finally captured.

Boyd, the boyfriend of Nikki's babysitter, attacked the girl with a brick and stabbed her 37 times in the chest before dumping her in the basement of the Quayside Old Exchange building.

Her shoes and coat were spotted the following day outside the abandoned warehouse – before her body was discovered inside in the basement.

Her blood was discovered outside the only entry point, a boarded-up window about six feet off the ground.

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Investigators believe Boyd must have hit Nikki outside the building, then lifted her inside and carried out the attack, leaving traces of DNA on her clothes as he did so.

Pictures taken at the time and now released by police show the crumbling brickwork, boarded-up windows and scrawls on damaged walls inside the warehouse.

Northumbria Police first prosecuted the wrong man, George Heron, who was cleared after a trial in 1993.

Outlining the latest prosecution case, Richard Wright KC told the court Boyd was known to Nikki's family and lived in the same block of flats.

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Nikki had been out with friends on the evening of October 7 1992 and a woman told police she saw a little girl wandering with a man now known to be Boyd.

Mr Wright said: "The little girl would occasionally drop behind and would then skip to catch up.

"This was Nikki Allan. She was with her killer and she was unwittingly skipping to her death."

Boyd, aged 25 at the time of the killing and now of Stockton in Teesside, denied murder but refused to go into the witness box to give evidence.

Prosecutors said Nikki must have known her killer to willingly follow him – and grainy CCTV showed a male adult being trailed by a child.

Locals told police they heard piercing screams on the night Nikki was killed.

And the tight-knit community helped officers, who carried out an overnight search when it was realised the schoolgirl was missing.

Seven years later, Boyd indecently assaulted a nine-year-old girl in a Teesside park.

He already had a conviction for breach of the peace in 1986 after asking an underage girl for a kiss.

He told his probation officer he had fantasised about naked "young girls".

In 2017, advances in DNA techniques allowed police to re-examine Nikki's case and extract samples from her clothing.

Tests indicated a one in 28,000 match for Boyd – or a male relative of his – was found on the clothes "in multiple areas", jurors heard.

Police were then able to go back and request a DNA test from the man they considered a mere witness 31 years ago.

Boyd was arrested on suspicion of murder in 2018 and charged last year after a painstaking investigation involving the DNA testing of 839 men linked to the area at the time, ruling them out.

Speaking after the three-week trial and guilty verdict, police paid tribute to Nikki, praised the "incredible strength" of her family and thanked those men who came forward to provide DNA to help finally trap Boyd.

Northumbria Police released not only photos from inside the murder scene, after it had been cordoned off following Nikki's discovery.

They also published video of the moment Boyd was finally arrested on suspicion of murder at his home on April 17, 2018.

He was shirtless when opening the door to officers, before carrying his pet dog upstairs as they assured him they would tell him shortly what they were there for.

Boyd can be heard repeatedly sighing after being told he is being arrested in connection with Nikki's death, while also insisting: "I had no involvement."

After being handcuffed and asking, "What about my dog?", he then adds: "What evidence have you got anyway?"

Assistant Chief Constable Brad Howe, of Northumbria Police, said after his conviction: “Today is about justice – for Nikki and her family.

“We thank them for their patience and strength over the last 30 years and our thoughts very much continue to be with them.

“David Boyd hid his crime, lying about his involvement and prolonging the family’s suffering, knowing all along that he had taken the life of their little girl.

“The investigation into Nikki’s murder has been one of the most complex and comprehensive ever conducted by Northumbria Police.

“I’m extremely proud of the investigative team and all those who played their part in securing this conviction.

"I further hope this sends a strong message that no matter how long ago an offence took place, we will do everything we can to see justice served.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Lisa Theaker, the senior investigating officer in the case, added: “Nikki would have been 37 now and who knows what her life could have been.

“But her future was cruelly taken away her by David Boyd. The pain and suffering that he has caused, and to so many people, is immeasurable.

“This is a huge day for Nikki’s family. I would like to thank them for their incredible strength – after 30 years, they have justice.

“Since 2017, as an investigative team, we have worked tirelessly on what has been a complex and challenging case. Our commitment has always been to find the person responsible and ensure they were brought to justice.

“New forensic techniques were a key part in this investigation, and we have been supported by incredible experts, witnesses and specialists who have helped us discover and prove who was responsible.”

She added: “The residents of Sunderland have also played their part in achieving justice for Nikki and her family. I want to take this opportunity to thank each person who assisted our investigation and provided their DNA for elimination.

“Without their help, today’s conviction would not have been possible.”

Christopher Atkinson, head of the complex casework Unit at CPS North East, said: “Thirty years ago David Boyd took the life of Nikki Allan, a seven year old girl who knew and trusted him.

“Despite the unimaginable grief endured by Nikki’s family, Boyd continued to pretend that he was not involved in the killing for 30 years.

“The Crown Prosecution Service has worked very closely with the investigative team at Northumbria Police to build a robust case against him.

“We have meticulously pieced together all available evidence to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the jury that the only person who could have possibly killed Nikki Allan was David Boyd.

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“Our thoughts remain with Nikki’s family, for whom this must be an incredibly difficult time.

“We sincerely hope that this trial has provided them with some of the answers that they have sought since Nikki’s death, and that they can take some measure of comfort in knowing that her killer has finally been brought to justice.”

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