Safeguarding News April 2022
April was another busy month in the safeguarding world with many newsworthy items, many of which are linked below. Feel free to share this email with your colleagues and they too can join our newsletterdatabase. To sign up simply click here.
SAFEcic is also recruiting for a new Finance Assistant to replace Sue, who is retiring and will be sadly missed by us all. The job is based at our office in Eye, Suffolk with some remote working. If you or someone you know would like to join our fantastic team, do take a look at the vacancy details online.
SAFEcic is also accepting many more bookings for its face to face safeguarding training and audit services. There is also a packed calendar of blended learning events available to book for your organisation. The courses are a very cost effective way of training your staff and volunteers.
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Legislation & Bills
England and Wales
The Down Syndrome Bill has been passed by both Houses and is now awaiting Royal Assent to become an Act.
Mencap, Learning Disability England, the Down’s Syndrome Association and the National Down Syndrome Policy Group all helped in the development of the Bill.
Baroness Hollins who was the crossbench supporter of the Bill said:
“I believe that this Bill will increase awareness and improve access to services for people with Down syndrome. It is my hope that the Down Syndrome Act will open up a wider conversation on how to improve public services for people with other chromosomal disorders or disabilities, as well as all people living with learning disabilities. To this end, I am considering reviving my previous Private Member’s Bill, which would require the Secretary of State to undertake a public consultation to review the provision of services—including health and care, but also employment and housing—for all adults with learning disabilities. Perhaps the time is right to take things a little further and review the impact of recent and forthcoming legislative and policy developments. This includes the Down Syndrome Act, the Oliver McGowan mandatory training in learning disability and autism, the inclusion of an executive lead for learning disability and autism on integrated care boards, the planned integration of health and social care and building the right support action plan, among others.
When this Bill gains Royal Assent, in some ways, the real work begins with the process of creating the guidance. This is the time when all stakeholders will need to pull together and heal any divisions that have occurred.”
The Health and Care Act April 2022
The Health and Care Bill received Royal Assent by Her Majesty The Queen, enacting the most significant health legislation in a decade into law. The Act introduces measures to tackle the Covid backlogs and rebuild health and social care services from the pandemic, backed by £36 billion over the next three years through the Health and Care Levy. It will also contain measures to tackle health disparities and create safer, more joined-up services that will put the health and care system on a more sustainable footing.
The Integration White Paper published in February will build on the Act to ensure people receive the right care for them in the right place at the right time. It follows the People at the Heart of Care White Paper which set out a ten year vision for social care funded through the Health and Care Levy, and the Covid Backlog Recovery Plan outlining NHS targets to tackle waiting lists. Dedicated plans to tackle health disparities are set to be published in due course.
The Act also introduces measures that will:
- Level up health disparities in oral health and obesity through making it simpler to fluoride to water in more areas across England, and regulating unhealthy food and drink advertising;
- Make services safer by establishing the Health Services Safety Investigations Body, an independent public body which will investigate incidents that have implications for patient safety and help improve systems and practices;
- Crack down on the use of goods and services in the NHS tainted by modern slavery and human trafficking with a view to ensuring that the NHS is not buying or using goods or services produced by or involving any kind of slave labour;
- Ensure our health and social care workforce have the right skills and knowledge to provide informed care to autistic people and people with a learning disability by making specialised training (the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training) mandatory by law;
- Support victims of abuse and respond to recent child safeguarding tragedies by committing to looking at information sharing in relation to the safeguarding of children, and requiring Integrated Care Boards to set out any proposed steps to address the particular needs of victims of abuse;
- Safeguarding women and girls by banning the harmful practices of virginity testing and hymenoplasty;
- Introduce regulation of non-surgical cosmetic procedures and improve the way we regulate medical professions;
- Address the barriers to joined up working, by supporting data sharing between health and social care and removing barriers in the hospital discharge process, reducing unnecessary delays for patients;
- Remove needless bureaucracy in the system, allowing staff to get on with their jobs providing the best possible treatment and care for their local populations. It also ensures that the NHS is fully accountable to parliament and the public, while maintaining the NHS’s clinical and day-to-day operational independence;
- Explicitly set out the parity of mental health and physical health and ensure transparency around the spending allocated to mental health support; and
- Support the government’s ambitious adult social care reforms, by creating the right framework for assuring, funding and sharing data on social care, to enable individuals to maintain their independence for longer.
The New Statutory Guidance and the Health and Care Act 2022 are not yet published.
The Solicitor General confirms the requirement not to publish material which is likely to identify victims of sexual offending. On 23 February 2022 the Court of Appeal increased the sentence in the case of an offender who pleaded guilty to serious sexual offences against children. The Solicitor General Alex Chalk QC MP wishes to amplify the importance of the requirement not to publish any material that is likely to lead members of the public to identify that a person is a victim of certain sexual offences. This includes publishing information online. Publishing this information is a criminal offence and could amount to contempt of court. Editors, publishers and social media users should take legal advice to ensure they are in a position to fully comply with the obligations to which they are subject under the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992 and the Contempt of Court Act 1981.The Attorney General’s Office is monitoring the coverage of the Court of Appeal hearing and outcome.
Reports, Reviews, Inquiries, Consultations and Research
Ofsted has published a new strategy which sets out how Ofsted will continue its work to improve the lives of children and young people, which is more important than ever following the disruption and distress of the past 2 years.
The strategy centres on the fundamental principle that Ofsted will be a force for improvement through the intelligent, responsible and focused use of inspection, regulation and insights. It sets out the strategic priorities for Ofsted over the next 5 years, which include a stronger focus on the inspectorate’s work in the early years and ensuring children get the best start in life.
Ofsted’s recent reports on education recovery highlighted the serious impact the pandemic has had on some of the youngest children. Many have gaps in their communication and language skills and are behind where they should be in their personal, social, emotional, and physical development.
The early years workforce has also been hit hard. Thousands have left the sector since the first lockdown in 2020, while those who have stayed are often struggling to get by on low wages.
There has also been a drop in the number of childcare providers. At the start of the pandemic there were just over 75,000 registered providers, but that has since dipped below 70,000, with childminders accounting for the bulk of the reduction.
To play its part in the recovery, the new strategy commits Ofsted to helping make sure every child’s earliest experience of education is as good as it can be. It states that Ofsted will use research and insight to support young children’s physical, social and wider development, increase training for the inspection workforce and promote a better understanding of early education and care in support of positive change.
Ofsted will also share data and insights about group-owned early years providers, to improve regulatory oversight at the group level, and work with government to simplify the regulatory regime for childminders. For a high level summary see
Worthy of Note
1. More than 97% of offenders on sobriety tags have stayed off alcohol, a year after they were introduced in England following a successful pilot in Wales. Since the tags were launched as part of government plans to curb drink-fuelled crime, 3,121 offenders have been monitored by the tags, with more than 3,000 staying sober. Alcohol plays a part in 39 per cent of all violent crime in the UK, and the social and economic cost of drink-related harm is estimated to be around £21.5 billion per year. As a result of the scheme’s success, the Ministry of Justice will roll out alcohol-monitoring tags to other offenders once they are released from prison in the summer. Further details will be announced in the coming months.
By 2025 it is estimated that 12,000 offenders will have had their drinking monitored by the tags – part of the Government’s £183 million expansion of electronic monitoring.
Mark*, aged 44 from Hereford, was sentenced to a Community Order, and required to wear an alcohol-monitoring tag for 90 days after being arrested for drink driving. He has also been banned from the road for 30 months and received 100 hours Community Payback.
“I was pulled over on a Saturday morning and was devastated to blow over the limit. Like many others, during lockdown a drink at the weekend had turned into maybe a glass of wine during the week and it made me reflect. I’ve not found wearing the tag hard, but it has given me extra motivation to reduce my intake.”*Mark is not the offender’s real name.
2. Thousands of young people, people with disabilities and those experiencing loneliness will get the opportunity to volunteer and help others thanks to £4.6 million in government investment.
More than 160 community organisations will be able to support 7,800 new volunteering opportunities over the next two years as the government confirms the beneficiaries of the Volunteering Futures Fund.
The fund was launched last year and will be distributed by Arts Council England (ACE). It will break down barriers to volunteering and enable organisations across the arts, culture, sport, civil society, youth and heritage sectors to continue their valuable work within local communities while volunteers enjoy the personal benefits of making a difference.
ACE has awarded funding to organisations including colleges, local councils, schools, health and wellbeing organisations in response to demand from a wide range of beneficiaries such as people experiencing loneliness or social isolation, young people in the LGBTQ community, and people with learning difficulties and complex needs.
Beneficiaries of the Volunteering Futures Fund include:
The Bureau Centre for the Arts in Blackburn and Darwen, which will be able to roll out a new two-year programme to engage hundreds of local young people in culture, sport and heritage volunteering. It will result in a digital portfolio toolkit that can be replicated in other towns. The centre will work with Blackburn Rovers Community Trust, Blackburn Museum, Blackburn with Darwen Library Service, Lancashire Wildlife Trust, Blackburn Festival of Light, Blackburn Youth Zone with 11 other partners.
The Festival of Thrift in Redcar will deliver a collaborative volunteer recruitment, training and development programme covering music, visual arts and performance. It will enable greater volunteering capacity across the Tees Valley in a safe, supported way,providing opportunities for progression and a shared experience. It will work with BloominArt, Curious Arts, Hartlepool Waterfront Festival, Stellar Projects and eight other partners.
Barnsley Museums will establish new partnerships between local stakeholders in Barnsley to offer new, high quality volunteer opportunities. It will develop skills and address loneliness and isolation and prioritise those most in need who face barriers to participation. Barnsley Museums will work with Feels Like Home, Barnsley College and Inclusion in Action among other partners.
Other beneficiaries include museums in Cumbria, Birmingham and Tyne and Wear. The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games festival and cultural festivals in Brighton and Cleveland will also benefit, as will local authorities in Bassetlaw, Hertfordshire and the Midlands.
The first round of the Volunteering Futures Fund already up and running through government and Pears and NHS Charities Together funding include Sense, a national disability charity that has launched a Virtual Buddy Scheme which pairs those with complex disabilities with a volunteer.
In addition, the Birmingham Community Healthcare Charity and Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are currently developing volunteering opportunities for young people including improving digital skills and testing new approaches to volunteering to further expand opportunities through the fund.
3. GHB, a drug that is used to spike drinks, has been reclassified as a Class B drug 13 April along with two related substances, GBL and 1,4-BD, meaning that those found in possession of them will face tougher penalties. Those found in unlawful possession of these drugs face sentences of up to five years behind bars, while those involved in supply and production will face up to 14 years in prison.GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyric acid), gamma-butyrolactone (GBL), and 1,4-butanediol (1,4-BD) have been found to facilitate serious crimes, including murder, rape, sexual assault and robbery. These tougher sentences recognise the harms these drugs do and are expected to deter possession and supply, so that the public are better protected from criminals
1. The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) has joined forces with MTN Group, Meta, ICMEC (the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children) and Child Helpline International, with the support of the United Nations office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), to launch the Help Children be Children campaign and the Child Safety Online Africa Portal to increase public awareness of the impact of Child Sexual Abuse Material and help prevent its spread in target countries on the African continent.
From 2019 to 2020, the number of reports received by the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) of child sexual abuse images and videos uploaded from the African continent grew by a staggering 81% to almost 2,4 million.This new campaign is aimed at raising awareness of the gradual increase of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) and how it can be reported by the public in target countries. Additionally, the campaign will help train law enforcement and child helplines in target countries, positively engage policymakers and stakeholders through roundtables, to join the global fight against CSAM.
To help children be children today, for tomorrow, report child sexual abuse material through the IWF portal
2. Online Safety Bill TOUGH new internet laws to protect young people, uphold free speech and make sure there are no safe spaces for criminals, online, return to Parliament for their second reading this week.
Parliamentarians will debate the government’s ground breaking which requires social media platforms, search engines and other apps and websites allowing people to post content to improve the way they protect their users. Ofcom, the regulator, will have the power to fine companies failing to comply with the laws up to ten per cent of their annual global turnover, force them to improve their practices and block non-compliant sites. Crucially, the laws have strong measures to safeguard children from harmful content such as pornography and child sexual abuse. Ahead of Tuesday’s debate, the government is launching the next phase of its Online Media Literacy Strategy. It aims to help vulnerable and ‘hard-to-reach’ people, such as those who are digitally excluded or from lower socio-economic backgrounds, navigate the internet safely and teach them to spot falsities online.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) will spend £2.5 million to advance the plan through the next year including on training, research and providing expert advice. This includes a new Media Literacy Taskforce featuring experts from a range of disciplines and a boost to the Media Literacy Fund, which gives teachers and local service providers the skills they need to teach people to improve their critical thinking of what they see online.
New research will be commissioned to understand the root causes of poor media literacy and on the effectiveness of different methods which aim to build people’s resilience to misinformation and disinformation. The fund will have a broader scope including a focus on improving media literacy provision for people who are particularly vulnerable online - such as children or people suffering with mental health issues. Since it launched in July 2021, the Online Media Literacy Strategy has provided £256,000 in grant funding to five organisations to adapt media literacy resources for teachers working with disabled children, run a successful awareness campaign to promote Safer Internet Day and empower LGBTQ+ young people with tools to deal with online abuse.
3. New analysis in the IWF annual report shows 11-13 year old girls are increasingly at risk of grooming and coercion at the hands of online predators.
A hard-hitting new IWF campaign, a partner in the UK Safer Internet Centre, is warning teenage girls and their parents about the dangers of being groomed online by sexual predators as new figures show 11-13 year old girls are at more risk than ever before.
New analysis shows the growing risk of children, particularly girls aged 11-13, being targeted by criminal sex predators.
Predators groom, bully, and coerce their victims into filming their own sexual abuse on internet enabled devices, often in the child’s own bedrooms in their family homes. The images and videos of this abuse are then shared widely online.
IWF experts, who work internationally to find and remove child sexual abuse material from the internet, warn this abuse now, for the first time, makes up almost half of what they are finding online.
The IWF’s annual report reveals:
In 2020, the IWF confirmed 68,000 cases of self-generated imagery. It now accounts for nearly half (44%) the imagery IWF took action on last year (IWF analysts confirmed 153,350 reports of child sexual abuse material in total).
- This is a 77% increase on 2019’s total of 38,400 reports which included “self-generated” material.
- New analysis shows in 80% of these cases, the victims were 11- to 13-year-old girls.
Parents are encouraged to T.A.L.K to their children about the dangers.
- Talk to your child about online sexual abuse. Start the conversation – and listen to their concerns.
- Agree ground rules about the way you use technology as a family.
- Learn about the platforms and apps your child loves. Take an interest in their online life.
- Know how to use tools, apps and settings that can help to keep your child safe online.
- Discuss and agree on privacy settings for the platforms and apps your child uses, and on more general settings for the family.
Images and videos of online child sexual abuse can be reported anonymously and the public is given this advice when making a report:
- Do report images and videos of child sexual abuse to the IWF to be removed. Reports to the IWF are anonymous.
- Do provide the exact URL where child sexual abuse images are located.
- Don’t report other harmful content – you can find details of other agencies to report to on the IWF’s website.
- Do report to the police if you are concerned about a child’s welfare,
- Do report only once for each web address – or URL. Repeat reporting of the same URL isn’t needed and wastes analysts’ time.
- Do report non-photographic visual depictions of the sexual abuse of children, such as computer-generated images. Anything of this nature, which is also hosted in the UK, the IWF can get removed.
The Reason to Remain Vigilant in All Aspects of Safeguarding
1. A paedophile who posed as a medic in refugees camps and offered to rescue children from an orphanage in Ukraine has been banned from leaving the UK. Adam Wyles travelled to Poland and Ukraine between March 7 and March 21 to provide aid to refugees fleeing the war, despite having previous convictions for possessing indecent images of children.
Police were told that the 34-year-old pretended to be a medical officer and had a fake air ambulance medic uniform and a false identification badge. A person who travelled with him revealed that Wyles of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, also offered to rescue children in an orphanage in Ukraine while on his trip.Judge Martyn Levett agreed to amend a Sexual Harm Prevention Order imposed on Wyles in May 2020 by requiring him to surrender his passport for 18 months.
Judge Levett told Ipswich Crown Court it was clear that Wyles had an 'entrenched sexual interest in young girls'. Wyles contacted the East Anglian Daily Times newspaper before his court appearance to tell them about his trip to Poland and Ukraine. He wrote to the newspaper saying he had just returned from Ukraine, where he had been providing ''medical evacuation and treatment services to those wounded and fleeing'.He also claimed that he had worked to evacuate wounded soldiers and had rescued Ukrainian families from Lviv and Kyiv. He said he wanted to talk to a journalist about his experiences and spoke at length to a reporter on the phone, but the newspaper declined to publish the story after discovering his previous convictions. Wyles was given a community order and a five year sexual harm prevention order which restricted his contact with children in 2015 having been convicted of possessing indecent images.
He breached the order in October 2019 when he tricked a charity, Little Miracles, which supports children with disabilities into letting him drive a coach to Europe. The charity, which knew nothing about his previous convictions, allowed him to drive their coach to the south coast and onto France and Germany before returning to the UK. He did not have any contact with children on the trip. Police who invested the breach found he possessed more indecent images of children on his computed, including 52 still and 25 videos in the most serious Catergory A. He was also found to have failed to comply with his order between February and September 2019 by not informing police he had been staying with a new partner. He was also found to have communicated with a 12-year-old girl, which resulted in him being jailed for 27 months in May 2020.
At the time of his sentencing in May 2020, Judge Katherine Moore at Norwich Crown Court ruled that he posed a 'high risk of sexual harm to children', and renewed his Sexual Harm Prevention Order for ten years. He was also placed on the sex offenders' register for the same period of time. The court also heard at the time that he held other previous convictions which included posing as a police officer and possessing a police uniform. Judge Levett told Ipswich Crown Court this week: 'I reach the conclusion it is necessary and proportionate to amend the order.'
2. An NHS consultant anaesthetist who was caught by police while arranging to sexually abuse a seven-year-old girl has been jailed for 28 months.
Mark Carrington, 49, of Radlett, Hertfordshire, admitted arranging the commission of a child sexual offence.
He also admitted three counts of making an indecent photo of a child, and was sentenced at St Albans Crown Court.
Police said there was no evidence his offences were linked to his job at the Royal Free Hospital in north London.
Undercover officers engaged with Carrington online, before arranging for him to meet a fictional person on the agreement that they would sexually abuse a girl together.
He was working at the hospital at the time of his arrest in Finchley in north London on 26 January and was suspended as soon as the hospital's senior management team was made aware of the incident, police said.
Det Sgt Jim Miller, of the child online safeguarding team, said: "Carrington's actions showed he is a serious danger to children as he believed he had arranged a meeting in which he would carry out the sexual abuse of a child.
"What is additionally concerning is that Carrington occupied a great position of trust in his medical role, and although he knew what he was doing was utterly wrong, he carried on."
3. An MP has been convicted of committing a sexual offence on a boy in 2008. A jury trying Imran Ahmad Khan MP, 48, at Southwark Crown Court have today found him guilty of a sexual assault. The assault took place in January 2008 when Khan was 34 years old and prior to him becoming an MP. Khan tried to force the 15-year-old to drink alcohol before sexually assaulting him in a house in Staffordshire. The boy immediately told his parents about the sexual assault.A report was made to Staffordshire Police at the time, but the victim decided he did not want to proceed. When he saw that that Khan had been elected as the Member of Parliament for Wakefield he decided to pursue the complaint as he was concerned that Khan was not fit to be in public office given what he had done.
4. A trainee music teacher from Essex who downloaded indecent images and videos of children told police he’d “been a bit silly online”, a court has heard.
Police went to 28-year-old Hector Moyes’ home with a search warrant in June last year and seized his iPhone and Apple Mac computer after receiving information that he had used the internet to access indecent images of children, Ipswich Crown Court heard.
When the devices were analysed they were found to contain 10 indecent videos of children in the most serious level A category, as well as four still indecent images of children and one video in category B.
He also had eight still images and three videos in the lowest level C category.
Matthew Bagnall, prosecuting, said Moyes, who has no previous convictions, had previously worked as a trainee music teacher at a secondary school.
He said that Moyes told police he’d “been a bit silly online” during a dark period in his life.
The court heard that the images found on his devices were of females aged between ten and 16 and he’d used search terms including “Lolita”.
Moyes, of Fingringhoe Road, Langenhoe, Colchester admitted three charges of making indecent images of children on or before June 6 last year.He was given a six-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months and ordered to do 150 hours unpaid work.
He was also given a 40-day rehabilitation activity requirement and a sexual harm prevention order for seven years. He was also ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for the same period. Sentencing him, Judge Emma Peters said he’d “fuelled the trade of the disgusting abuse of children” and had lost his teaching career as a result of the offences
The court heard that Moyes had a mental breakdown which resulted in a “brief and destructive” addiction with pornography.
Adam Squibbs, for Moyes, said he had been a church organist for 10 years and was a freelance musician and had used his talents to raise money for charity.He said Moyes had a mental breakdown following the death of his grandfather and learning his father had vascular dementia.He had also discovered his wife was pregnant and had been looking for a house where all his family, including his grandmother, could live together.Mr Squibbs said his client had been attending weekly counselling sessions and felt genuine remorse.”
5. A teacher from London has been jailed for grooming and sexually abusing two children in the Middle East over an eight-year period.
Paul Shinn, 49, taught at an English school in the United Arab Emirates from 2004 until March 2019, when he was dismissed from his post following allegations that he had sexually assaulted children.
The school reported the allegations to the National Crime Agency, who arrested Shinn after he returned to the UK the following month.
The investigation showed that Shinn had begun grooming two children from the ages of eight and nine, gaining their trust and encouraging them to spend time with him through the offer of gifts and trips.
His campaign of abuse took place over eight years, during which Shinn sexually assaulted his victims on a number of occasions and took indecent photographs of them.
He also attempted to sexualise them, by forcing them to watch sex scenes in films before moving on to pornography, as well as showing them condoms.
Shinn was charged with six counts of child sexual abuse under section 72 of the Sexual Offences Act, which allows British nationals to be prosecuted in the UK for abuse committed overseas.
On 28 January 2022, he was convicted by a jury at Kingston Crown Court of five counts, including sexual assault of a child under 13 (2011-2015), two counts of sexual activity with a child (2016-2019), and two counts of causing a child to watch a sexual act (2010-2017).
The jury were unable to reach a decision on the sixth charge - sexual activity with a child over 13.
He was sentenced today at the same court to a total of 10 years in prison, plus two years on licence.
He is also made subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order,
Ian Truby from the National Crime Agency said: “Shinn positioned himself as a caring and trustworthy teacher in order to befriend children and their families.
“He then abused their trust in the most horrific way; through the systemic grooming and sexual assault of these children over a number of years.
“Shinn thought that he could run away from his crimes by returning to the UK. However, the NCA works closely with international partners to ensure British nationals who commit offences against victims overseas are brought to justice.”
6. A man has been found guilty of murdering six-year-old schoolboy Rikki Neave in Peterborough nearly 30 years ago.
James Watson, 41, was 13 years old when he strangled Rikki in woodland on the Welland Estate on 28 November 1994.
After murdering Rikki, Watson stripped him and left his naked body posed with legs and arms outstretched, before discarding the boy’s clothing in a nearby wheelie bin.
Rikki had left his home in Redmile Walk at about 9.30am that day.
At about 10.30am witnesses saw Watson “playing” with Rikki in nearby Rotherby Grove. One described the pair walking off in the direction of the woodland side by side at about 11am.
At about 6pm Rikki’s mother Ruth Neave reported him missing. Officers attended his home and extensive searches were carried out in the area, supported by local people.
The following day at 12.05pm Rikki’s body was discovered in the wooded area off Eye Road, close to Willoughby Court – a five-minute walk from his home.
A post mortem examination concluded that Rikki had died as a result of a compression of the neck – strangulation. It is believed he had been strangled from behind, using the zip from his coat.
The time of his death was estimated as being in the region of two hours after he had consumed his breakfast.
On 30 November officers searching Willoughby Court found Rikki’s clothing – grey trousers, a white shirt, black shoes and a blue coat – in a wheelie bin.
The condition of the clothing, given the weather at the time of the discovery, suggested they had been there since the day of Rikki's murder. Expert evidence proved from the mud on his shoes he had walked into the woods but not out again.
A witness described seeing a teenage boy matching Watson’s description in the area close to the bin at about 1pm on the day of Rikki’s murder.
Six months later, on 24 May 1995, Ruth Neave was charged with Rikki’s murder and offences of “cruelty”. She later pleaded guilty to cruelty but was unanimously found not guilty of his murder following a trial in October 1996.
In 2015 an investigation into Rikki’s murder was relaunched, with a completely new team of officers looking at the case.
Using forensic techniques not available in 1994 Watson's DNA was found on tape used to take samples from Rikki's clothing.
Watson was spoken to at the time of the initial investigation as a witness, where he claimed he saw Rikki briefly, but for no more than a few seconds and described no physical contact between them.
Watson claimed he had been at Walton School in Mountsteven Avenue, Gunthorpe, on the morning of 28 November, before leaving for the Welland estate. Records from the time showed he did not attend school at all that day. Sightings of him also did not match the timeframes involved in walking from one area of Peterborough to the other if he attended school for part of the day.
In the days following Rikki’s death teachers at Watson’s school recalled him showing an intense interest in the murder. This included making six photocopies of the front page of the Peterborough Evening Telegraph displaying Rikki’s picture.
When interviewed following his arrest in 2016 Watson changed his account of the meeting with Rikki, claiming he had lifted him up so he could see over a fence to watch a digger at work.
The investigation continued and turned out to be the most complex and comprehensive conducted since the Major Crime Unit was introduced in 2012 and second in this respect only to the Soham murders in Cambridgeshire’s policing history.
Following this investigation Watson was charged with Rikki's murder on 17 February 2020 – a charge he denied.
Today (21 April) Watson, of no known address, was found guilty following a trial at the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey) in London. He will be sentenced on 9 May.
Former Assistant Chief Constable Paul Fullwood, senior lead for the investigation, said: “Today we have finally secured justice for Rikki and his family, following an almost 30-year battle to find the truth.
“When we reviewed and reopened this case in 2015, we were committed to finding the person responsible for Rikki’s untimely death and ensuring they were brought to justice. Following an intensive and detailed investigation, with several challenges and legal obstacles, we now know what happened to Rikki that day.
“The investigation team spent hours trawling through statements, visiting witnesses, and picking through every evidential opportunity to prepare for this case. We were supported by incredible experts, witnesses and specialists who have helped us discover who was responsible.
“Through close working with the Crown Prosecution Service we were able to put Watson, who was a child at the time, before the courts and today the jury have decided he is guilty of Rikki’s murder. For years he thought he had gotten away with this most horrendous crime but today’s result shows you cannot hide forever.
“In 1994 a six-year-old boy was robbed of his life; his parents lost a son and his sisters a brother. Nothing can take the pain of this heart-breaking case away, but I hope today’s verdict gives Rikki’s family the closure they deserve and the answers they have longed for.
“My thoughts are very much with them at this time.”
7. A football coach who sexually abused boys after grooming them through online gaming and relentless messages has been jailed for 15 years and 10 months.
Alfie Morel, 24, from Hampshire, was found guilty of eight offences in January, including attempted rape.
A school of one of the victims and the FA both raised concerns about Morel not following safeguarding rules and travelling with boys in his car alone. A victim's mother told the BBC it was "your worst nightmare as a parent". Another parent said: "He was highly thought of. Everyone liked him, everyone trusted him, we thought he was great with the kids. We were totally groomed by him."
The crimes - carried out over eight months in 2020 and 2021 - came to light when one of the victims, who was 12 at the time, told his mother Morel had sent him sexual messages. The boy revealed the coach had committed a sex act in front of him, sexually assaulted him and bribed him to perform sex acts on him in exchange for money or Fifa football video games points.
The court also heard Morel would share images with his victims on Instagram, before moving the conversations to Snapchat, allowing him to "delete compromising messages".
Prosecutors said he had targeted boys who were "vulnerable and insecure" and had divulged personal information about his own mental health to gain leverage. He carried out abuse in the victims' homes and in his car.
At one point during the sentencing hearing at Portsmouth Crown Court, the judge told Morel to "stop smirking".
One parent read out a victim impact statement and said her son had remained "tormented" since the abuse.
"Guilt, anger and sadness has taken over my life. I am totally broken. I have lost faith in systems and the ways children are protected," she told the court.
Passing sentence, Judge Richard Shepherd said Morel had "ingratiated" himself to the boys who were "football mad".
"You lied, manipulated, coerced, bribed and cajoled for your own sexual pleasure. All the victims looked up to you, you were in a position of trust." he added.
An FA spokesperson said it "welcomes the conviction and sentencing of Mr Morel and we wholly condemn the horrific abuse that this individual inflicted.
Morel used online gaming and social media messages to groom his victims
"The young victims have shown remarkable courage in speaking up and in giving evidence so that criminal justice could be delivered. Our thoughts are with these children and their families at this time," they added.
Hampshire County Council declined to reveal what action was taken after the school flagged its concern, but said the matter was passed to its children's services department.
"We do not provide information about referrals as this must necessarily remain confidential," a spokesperson added.
"Schools are responsible for undertaking safeguarding checks for staff they employ, as are any third-party organisations providing services to schools.
"However, it is important to understand that individuals who breach their position of trust do so deceptively and will do whatever they can to conceal their actions."
Det Sgt Barry Martin, of Hampshire Constabulary, said: "Even for us who work in policing, and specifically in the investigation of the abuse of children, this is still quite a shocking case."
He said that without the "character" of the victims to come forward and give evidence against Morel he might have offended further.
Morel was also found guilty of three counts of sexual assault of a child under 13, causing or inciting a child into sexual activity, engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child and two counts of sexual communication with a child.
He admitted another count of sexual communication with a child during his trial. He was acquitted of a charge of rape.
Disclosure: Abused By My Teacher was broadcast at 22:35 on Monday 11 April on BBC One Scotland.
Available now on BBC Scotland iPLAYER for the next 11 months. Emma tracked down a girl whose photo she had taken from his home - setting in course the events which would lead to Peter Antonelli being jailed for the rape and sexual abuse of six children.
He was a respected teacher and musical theatre director, and the head of instrumental music education for East Lothian Council until 2019. He was even awarded an MBE. But now he is in prison after being found guilty of raping and sexually abusing six children in East Lothian over a 25-year period.
Emma was among them.
She was sexually abused by Antonelli from the late 1990s until 2005.
She had not spoken about the abuse for two decades - but then in 2018, she was scrolling through Facebook when she saw something which filled her with dread.
"I'd seen a post asking for children from age eight to 16 to audition for Peter Antonelli's musical group," she told the BBC's Disclosure programme.
"It really triggered everything that I'd gone through, and I just thought: 'Could this be happening to other children'?"
So Emma went searching for two photographs of a girl which she had taken from the music studio Antonelli had in his home.
"Her name was on the back, and the date: 1983. It was a photo of a girl that Peter had talked about often," she said.
Emma wondered if this girl was also an abuse survivor.
She searched for her online, and found a name and face that looked familiar. She sent her a message asking to speak to her about her time at the school.
That girl was Grace, who has asked the BBC to change her name. She immediately knew what Emma was going to ask her about.
"There was nothing else that happened to me there that was as traumatic or life-changing as that," she said.
Grace was one of Antonelli's earliest victims.
She was having a hard time at home, living with her grandparents. The piano lessons he gave her at Preston Lodge High School in the 1980s were a refuge.
He became her confidante, and invited her to his home to practice. He gave her alcohol.
On the day of her grandmother's funeral, he took advantage of her vulnerability to profess his love. She was just 14 years old.
Sitting on the piano stool in Antonelli's mother's house, he asked her to take off some of her clothes.
"Other things happened after that. He told me immediately: 'You cannae tell your granda.'
"I felt like somehow this was my fault, and I couldn't extricate myself from it.
"And so I just kept it, like a stone in the pit of my stomach."
The abuse continued for the next five years. Disclosure has spoken to witnesses from the time who said there was gossip about their relationship, and that some teachers knew.
At the same time, Antonelli had been assaulting children at Prestonpans Primary School.
One of his victims, who was in primary six, told the BBC that she and other girls were called into a meeting with a senior teacher. She told them Antonelli had inappropriately touched her, but says no action seemed to be taken by the school.
East Lothian Council said it was "shocked and sickened" by Antonelli's offences. It is carrying out a review of its safeguarding policies, procedures and systems.
A spokesperson said this would lead to continuous improvement and would ensure that the council's measures were as robust as possible.
"The safety and wellbeing of children and young people in East Lothian is our top priority and all staff are required to follow strict reporting and safeguarding procedures," it said.
"We strive to provide an environment where anyone who witnesses, or experiences, inappropriate behaviour is supported, and that suitable action is taken."
Emma was also part of the local amateur musical drama society run by Antonelli. She says he also abused her in rehearsal spaces, but no-one seemed to care about their strangely close relationship.
"It was really evident that there were certain adults that did not like me," she said.
"I was definitely seen to be some kind of needy problem child, whereas his behaviour was never put into question."
The group, called Musical Youth, had been set up by Antonelli in 1992. As an informal private group, there was no scrutiny or oversight, despite working closely with children.
Joanne Smith, from the NSPCC, said this was "a massive grey area that warrants really urgent attention.
"Adults within those settings often have very specific power and influence over the young people in their care."
She said the law needed to be tightened to ensure that children could enjoy activities that they love without the fear of being groomed by adults who are supposed to protect them.
Fearing that children could still be at risk from Antonelli after seeing the Facebook advert for his group, Grace and Emma gave statements to the police and he was arrested.
They also tried to recall the names of all their classmates who had been taught by him, and passed them on to police.
Last year Antonelli was sentenced to eight years in prison after being convicted of the rape and sexual abuse of six children in East Lothian between 1980 and 2005.
But Grace is certain that there are more out there.
"One friend of mine has said she'll come forward once her mum passes," she said.
"She can't bear for her mum to know about it, so she will come forward after that time. So that means logically there must be others."
It is rare for survivors of sexual abuse to speak out about their experiences, but Emma says she had no choice.
"I want to live in a society where these things stop happening," she said.
"And I want to protect future generations. None of the adults in my life did it for me, and I will not be an adult that doesn't do this for other girls."