Babes in the Wood double murder trial – Jury told to put right 32-year-old injustice

Posted On 05 Dec 2018 at 4:11 pm

The jury in the Babes in the Wood murder trial have been asked to put right a 32-year-old injustice.

Brian Altman, prosecuting, said in his closing speech: “The evidence points in one direction only.

“The man who sexually assaulted and strangled those two children meant to kill them – and we say that that man was this defendant.”

The defendant, Russell Bishop, 52, is on trial for a second time for the murder of Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway, both nine, in Wild Park, Moulsecoomb, in October 1986.

The former Brighton roofer’s retrial follows a change to the law on double jeopardy and the emergence of new evidence.

Bishop, who was acquitted at Lewes Crown Court in 1987, refused to attend his trial at the Central Criminal Court – better known as the Old Bailey – in London for a second day.

But Mr Altman said: “Since that day he has been trying to lie his way out of the consequences of his own actions.

“In 1990 he committed a similar offence against a seven-year-old girl.

“The offences involved incriminating items of clothing being discarded.

“They involved him cleaning himself or his clothing – or in 1990 his car – showing forensic awareness.”

Mr Altman said that there were some differences but they were the result of lessons that Bishop, formerly of Stephens Road, Hollingdean, learnt from what happened in 1986.

Russell Bishop

He said: “If this defendant is not the killer of Nicola and Karen then there must have been two men committing almost identical offences in the Brighton area within a few years of each other.

“This is murder. This defendant and no one else brought those two girls to their deaths – and he sexually assaulted those two girls at the time he did so.

“We ask you to put right a 32-year-old injustice by returning verdicts of guilty.”

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