Babes in the Wood perjury trial due to start today

Posted On 14 Apr 2021 at 8:43 am

A woman is due to go on trial today (Wednesday 14 April) charged with perjury at the Babes in the Wood murder trial in 1987.

Jennifer Nancy Johnson, 55, of Saunders Park View, Brighton, is accused of committing perjury at Russell Bishop’s trial at Lewes Crown Court in November 1987. She is also charged with perverting the course of justice.

Bishop was acquitted of murdering two nine-year-olds, Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway, in what was known as the Babes in the Wood case after they were killed in Wild Park in 1986.

He was convicted in a retrial at the Central Criminal Court, better known as the Old Bailey, in December 2018.

Jennie Johnson is due to appear at Lewes Crown Court in a trial presided over by High Court judge Sir Peter Fraser, known as Mr Justice Fraser.

She is charged that, “being lawfully sworn in judicial proceedings, namely the trial of Russell Bishop at Lewes Crown Court, wilfully made a false statement, namely, that her statement of Friday 31 October 1986 made to Sussex Police was untrue.”

Specifically, the charge reads that she told the jury at Lewes “that she had not seen a blue Pinto sweatshirt before Friday 31 October 1986, that it was not Russell Bishop’s sweatshirt and that she had never seen it before, the statement being material in the judicial proceedings”.

Johnson denies the charges.

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