Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'Monster' Found Guilty of 'Babes INWOOD' Murders

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'Monster' Found Guilty of 'Babes INWOOD' Murders

Article excerpt

Byline: EMILY PENNINK Reporter jnl.newsdesk@ncjmedia.co.uk

BABES in the Woods killer Russell Bishop has been described as an "evil monster" by the families of his two young victims as their 32-year fight for justice came to an end.

Bishop was 20 years old when he sexually assaulted and strangled nine-year-olds Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway in a woodland den in Brighton.

He was cleared of their murders on December 10 1987 but within three years went on to kidnap, molest and throttle a seven-year-old girl, leaving her for dead at Devils Dyke on the edge of the Sussex seaside city.

While serving life for attempted murder, Bishop, now 52, was ordered to face a fresh trial under the double jeopardy law in light of a DNA breakthrough.

A sweatshirt discarded on Bishop's route home was linked to the defendant by DNA while fibre, paint and ivy hairs placed it at the murder scene in Wild Park.

Tests on a sample from Karen's left forearm also revealed a "one in a billion" DNA match to Bishop.

Bishop denied murder, claiming the evidence could have been contaminated.

But the jury rejected his defence and convicted him at the Old Bailey after just two and a half hours, on the anniversary of Bishop's original acquittal.

Members of the girls' families wept and hugged each other as the verdict was delivered.

Afterwards, Karen's mother Michelle Hadaway said Bishop was an "evil monster". She said: "After 32 years of fighting, we finally have justice for Karen and Nicola. "Time stood still for us in 1986. To us them beautiful girls will always be nine years old. They will never grow up. What people like Bishop inflict on the families of their victims is a living death."

The Fellows family said: "The guilty verdict doesn't bring Nicola and Karen back, but we know that other children are now safe from the hands of Russell Bishop. …

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