A Brighton woman was accused of giving a false alibi for Barrie Fellows – the father of one of the Babes in the Wood murder victims.
Family friend Teresa Judd denied covering up for Mr Fellows when accounting for his movements on the day that his daughter Nicola Fellows and her friend Karen Hadaway, both nine, disappeared.
The two girls, both from Newick Road, Moulsecoomb, were found murdered in nearby Wild Park the next day (Friday 10 October), having been strangled and sexually assaulted.
Teresa Judd was questioned at the Central Criminal Court – better known as the Old Bailey – as the final prosecution witness in the trial of Russell Bishop.
The 52-year-old former roofer, who lived in Stephens Road, Hollingdean, faces two charges of murder which he denies.
Bishop’s defence includes a claim that Barrie Fellows was responsible for the girls’ deaths.
Bishop’s barrister, Joel Bennathan, asked Mr Fellows yesterday about his movements after leaving work in Hove on the day when the girls were killed.
Mr Bennathan suggested that there a missing hour for which Mr Fellows had no alibi.
But today Teresa Judd – who has since reverted to her maiden name as Teresa Talmey – backed up the version of events given by Mr Fellows.
She said that he came to the Judds’ home with his friend Dougie Judd while her then-husband Steve Judd was working away in Manchester with Lee Hadaway, the father of Karen Hadaway.
Steve was the brother of Dougie, who was a friend of Russell Bishop and who lived as a lodger at the home of Barrie Fellows.
Mr Bennathan said: “Thirty-two years ago Barrie Fellows asked you to give him a false alibi, didn’t her?”
Teresa Talmey said: “No.”
She said that Mr Fellows had sent Dougie Judd on ahead to tell his wife that he would soon be home for dinner. He then stayed for about 20 minutes before heading home himself.
Mr Fellows went back to see Teresa Judd later that evening when the girls had not returned home, giving her £5 and a packet of cigarettes, she said.
Mr Bennathan asked why she had not mentioned – during house-to-house inquiries by the police – the first visit by Mr Fellows that evening.
She said that she had already done so when making a statement the day before.
Mr Bennathan asked her about a visit from the police in the summer of last year when she was quizzed questions about her statement from 1986.
He said: “The police came round to speak to you and also speak to your ex-husband, because what they were investigating was this – that your ex-husband had said you had confessed to him that you had given Barrie Fellows a false alibi.”
Miss Talmey said: “A load of rubbish. That definitely ain’t true.”
She said: “I could not remember the details but I know I had seen Barrie and Dougie.
“They came in my house. They stood by my living room door. I said that in my statement.
“I speak to my ex-husband every single day. I have done since I divorced him.
“I only phoned police once to say I’m sticking with my statement because you have got 30 years and my original statement must be the correct statement.”
Mr Bennathan said: “You have been left in a terrible position because – no doubt thinking it was harmless – you did Barrie a favour, saying that he spent time at your house when he did not.”
Miss Talmey replied: “One hundred per cent absolutely not. Barrie was at my house. I swear. I wouldn’t lie on the Bible.”
Brian Altman, prosecuting, said: “What this gentleman is suggesting, on instruction, is that you supplied Barrie and Dougie with a false alibi to cover up his movements that evening.
“Was any of that a lie?”
Miss Talmey said: “No. I swear. One hundred per cent never. Never!”
The trial continues.