A seven-year-old “skipped to her death” while being lured to a derelict building where she was brutally murdered in 1992, a court heard.
David Boyd, then aged 25, is accused of smashing Nikki’s Allan’s skull with a brick before repeatedly stabbing her through the heart and dragging her body through the ruined building and dumping her in the basement.
The 55-year-old, then also known as Smith or Bell, of Chesterton Court, Stockton, Teesside, is on trial at Newcastle Crown Court, where he denies her murder.
Richard Wright KC, prosecuting, said Nikki had been playing outside flats known as the Garths, in Hendon, Sunderland, on the evening of October 7 1992.
A factory worker later reported seeing a little girl and a man in his 20s walking along a road in the area, with the girl trying to catch him up.
Mr Wright said: “This was Nikki Allan.
“She was with her killer and she was unwittingly skipping to her death.”
Access to the building, described as being in a perilous condition, was through a boarded up window, more than six feet off the ground, meaning her killer had to somehow lift her into the unlit premises.
Drops of Nikki’s blood were found outside the building, indicating the attack started on wasteland outside, the court heard.
The schoolgirl’s body was dumped in a corner of an end room where her killer must have hoped she would remain undetected, the court was told.
But she was found the next morning by two of the many residents looking for her, prosecutors said.
Boyd knew the building well, having been there days earlier with a 12-year-old boy to look for pigeons, Mr Wright said.
A man called George Heron was charged with Nikki’s murder and went on trial at Leeds Crown Court in 1993, jurors heard.
“The jury found him not guilty of murder,” Mr Wright said.
“They were right to do so.
“George Heron was not the killer of Nikki Allan.
“The killer of Nikki Allan was David Boyd, the man sitting in the dock at the back of this court.”
Scientific breakthroughs allowed experts to detect his DNA on Nikki’s clothes in “multiple areas”, jurors heard.
Mr Wright said: “The case against David Boyd is a circumstantial one but it is, we will invite you to conclude, a compelling one, a case that will enable you to come to the sure and safe conclusion that he is guilty of her murder.”
Mr Wright said there was only a “shallow pool” of murder suspects – and the killer must have been a local white man in his 20s who knew Nikki and was in the area at about 10pm and “intimately familiar” with the disused building.
Mr Wright said: “He was, by his own admission, the last man to see her alive that night, having her in his sight until the moments before she was lured away.
“He was by his own admission out of his flat alone at the time that she went missing.
“He closely resembles the description of the man who killed Nikki.”
The witness who saw the girl skipping helped to produce a sketch of the man and Mr Wright showed the jury photos of Boyd from the time.
Mr Wright said the man in the sketch bore a “striking resemblance” to how Boyd looked at the time.
Another woman whose flat overlooked the building heard a “short-lived but piercing scream from a girl” at around 10pm.
Mr Wright said she recalled a second similar scream following a couple of minutes after the first.
Nikki’s family realised after 10pm that she was missing and many local people spent the evening “scouring the area”, jurors heard.
Mr Wright said the next morning a man searching the area near the building looked over the wall and saw Nikki Allan’s purple coat in the grounds.
The case continues.