Murder victim not forgotten

The Sutton Coldfield Observer has devoted seven pages to a seven-year-old murder of a local teenage girl whose killer was eventually tracked down by his DNA.

The murder of Nicola Dixon made national news when her body was found in the snow on 1 January, 1997.

Last week at Warwick Crown Court, Colin Ian Waite was sentenced to life for the teenager’s rape and murder. Waite was traced after DNA he gave following a road rage incident was matched to samples taken from the crime scene.

Observer editor Gary Phelps said: “Seven years was a long time to wait for a conviction, but the impact of Nicola’s murder was so strong that we knew people in the town would still want as much detail as possible.”

The Observer had a reporter in court throughout the trial and used archives to come up with background information.

“The daily papers reported what went on in court, but the Soham case and other factors meant they couldn’t really justify devoting the space that we could,” said Phelps.

“Nicola’s story might have slipped out of the national headlines but it had never left the minds of local people.”

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