A jury has been sworn in for the perjury trial of a Brighton woman who gave evidence in the Babes in the Wood murder trial.
The jury of seven men and five women are being asked to decide whether Jennie Johnson is guilty of perjury over her evidence in the 1987 trial at Lewes Crown Court.
Johnson, 55, a carer, of Saunders Park View, Brighton, is back at Lewes Crown Court accused of telling lies to protect her boyfriend Russell Bishop when he was tried over the 1986 murders.
She denies one count of perjury and another of perverting the course of justice.
Bishop was cleared 34 years ago but has since been jailed for life for the murder of nine-year-olds Karen Hadaway and Nicola Fellows in Wild Park in Moulsecoomb.
A High Court judge Sir Peter Fraser, known as Mr Justice Fraser, is presiding over the trial which is expected to last about four weeks.
Jennifer Nancy Johnson, also known as Jennifer Robinson, 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”.
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