Man on murder charge

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A man was charged yesterday with the murder of Nikki Allen, 7, whose body was left in a derelict warehouse on 7 October.

Police said that George Heron, 23, would appear before Sunderland magistrates today. Mr Heron, from Wear Garth, Hendon, Sunderland, was arrested on Friday. Police said that his arrest came after a reconstruction of events leading up to the killing generated fresh clues.

Special security arrangements are planned for Mr Heron's appearance in court 'due to tensions in the community surrounding Nikki Allen's death', a spokeswoman said. He is a neighbour of the child's family.