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Murdered girl 'stabbed as well as beaten'

Nikki Allen, the seven-year-old girl whose battered body was found in a derelict building in Sunderland, had also been stabbed. This was disclosed yesterday at the opening of an inquest into the death of Nikki, from Wear Garth, Sunderland.

Nikki disappeared near her home on the night of 7 October.

The inquest, in Sunderland, was adjourned until a later date. On Monday last week the city's magistrates remanded a man in custody for nine days charged with Nikki's murder.