Russell Bishop has been found guilty of the Babes in the Wood murders 32 years after Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway were killed in Wild Park, on the edge of Brighton.
The jury of six men and six women took just two and a half hours to convict Bishop, 52, of two counts of murdering the nine-year-olds in October 1986.
There were gasps, cries and tears from the public gallery at the Central Criminal Court – better known as the Old Bailey – where about 20 members of the victims’ families were present.
They included the mothers – Michelle Hadaway and Susan Fellows – and Nicky’s father Barrie Fellows who was smeared by Bishop as part of his defence. Lee Hadaway, Karen’s father, died 20 years ago.
The judge paid tribute to the dignified way that they conducted themselves throughout the trial.
Bishop, a former roofer, was not in the dock to hear the verdict at the start of the ninth week of his trial, having refused to come to court from his prison cell.
He had previously been tried for the murders at Lewes Crown Court in 1987 when he was acquitted.
But Bishop, formerly of Stephens Road, Hollingdean, went on to offend again just three years later in 1990.
He kidnapped a girl in Whitehawk, bundled her into the boot of his car and drove her to the Devil’s Dyke where he sexually assaulted her and left her for dead.
He was jailed for life for a minimum of 14 years – and 28 years on he is still in prison and now faces spending the rest of his life in prison.
The judge, Sir Nigel Sweeney, also known as Mr Justice Sweeney, said that he required Bishop to attend the Old Bailey tomorrow (Tuesday 11 December) at 2pm to be sentenced.