Jury visits Rikki's den

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A Crown Court judge and jury yesterday visited the housing estate where the body of six-year-old Rikki Neave was found almost two years ago.

The judge, Mr Justice Popplewell, lawyers, and the jury of five men and seven women, began the visit at the spot where Rikki's body was discovered.

The visit is part of the trial of Rikki's mother, Ruth Neave, 28, who denies murdering him in November 1994. She elected not to take part in the visit.

The jury's tour started with the den where Rikki's body was found, in undergrowth on the edge of the Welland estate in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.

The jury then moved on 40 yards to a point where, the prosecution has alleged, a witness saw Ms Neave at 5.45pm on the day Rikki died.

Next, the jurors were shown the site of the rubbish bin where Rikki's clothes were found, 50 yards from where his body was discovered. They then moved on to see Ms Neave'shome.

Mr James Hunt QC, prosecuting, has told the jury that Ms Neave had a fascination with the occult and may have killed her son as part of a sacrificial ritual.

Rikki, he has alleged, was a stumbling block in Ms Neave's relationship with her wayward husband Dean, and she could also have killed the child in an attempt to win her husband back.

The judge has warned residents on the estate that any attempt to influence the jury during the visit would be treated as contempt of court.

The hearing later adjourned until Monday.