Man suspected of murdering schoolboy posts photos from abroad where he is having fun in the sun

A man suspected of murdering a schoolboy is believed to have fled from Northampton to Portugal where he has posted photos of himself having fun in the sun.

Monday, 25th July 2016, 4:00 pm
Updated Monday, 25th July 2016, 5:28 pm
James Watson on the beach

James Watson (35) was arrested in April over the unsolved murder of Peterborough schoolboy Rikki Neave who died aged six in 1994.

It emerged on Monday that Watson, who was living at a hostel in Northampton, had smuggled himself out of the UK in a motorhome from Dover and is now understood to be in Portugal where he has posted online a string of photos showing him drinking beer, sunbathing and even posing nude.

Watson said: “The best thing is I don’t even have a passport. I just walked out of our country.

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James Watson

“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.”

Watson added: “It has been the most stressful time of my 35 years. (I’m) getting the sun on me and making some memories.”

A source close to him said: “I think he has been enjoying himself too much. He has been drinking beer and lying around on the beach all day living it up.

“I have told him that he is breaking his bail and is not where he should be. He should be going back to the hostel.

James Watson

“It wasn’t even that strict there. They could stay out until 11pm.”

Watson was originally arrested on April 19 when police raided his mother’s flat in Peterborough.

Rikki went missing near the estate on November 28 in 1994 and his naked body was found the following day in woodland. He had been strangled.

After his first arrest Watson was taken away for days of “intensive” questioning before being released on bail until June 15.

James Watson

He was then re-bailed again and is due to return to see police on September 20.

Police were made aware on July 15 that the suspect had breached his police bail by travelling overseas and UK police began liaising with European forces to locate him and ensure his return to this country.

A police spokesman 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.”

James Watson