BABEESS IIN TTHEE WOOD TTRIIALL SSEENSSATTIION DEFENCE LAWYER POINTS FINGER AT DEAD GIRL’S DAD
A LAWYER for a sex predator accused of murdering two girls aged nine has pointed the finger at one of their fathers, saying police spent “32 years building a case against the wrong man”.
Former roofer Russell Bishop is on trial for the second time for the 1986 killings of Karen Hadaway and Nicola Fellows.
In a case known as the Babes in the Woods Murders the girls were sexually abused and strangled on the South Downs near Brighton in October of that year.
In an opening speech, Joel Bennathan QC cast suspicion on Barrie Fellows, Nicola’s father, suggesting he was “complicit” in sexual abuse.
He told jurors at the Old Bailey: “Only one person is on trial here sitting in the dock – Russell Bishop.
“But the law allows a defendant like him to point out facts, ask questions, to the jury that might suggest the possibility that another person may have carried out these awful attacks.
“We will ask questions of witnesses to show that when the girls went missing there was someone very close to them who has no alibi. That someone made comments after the killings that are far more incriminating than IN THE DOCK: Russell Bishop now and ( in 80s anything Russell Bishop said.
“That someone is someone who may actually – unlike Mr Bishop – have been able to order Nicola Fellows to meet him in Wild Park.
“That someone has a guilty secret – that he has been complicit in the sexual abuse of Nicola Fellows, which shows an interest in paedophilic sex.
“In the end it might mean he could not let Nicola Fellows tell the world what has been happening. That person is her father, Barrie Fellows.”
Mr Bennathan suggested the police had “spent 32 years building a case against the wrong man”.
The trial has heard how Nicola and Karen went missing while playing together in Wild Park after school.
Following a search by police and volunteers, the girls were found dead the next day in a wooded den.
The Court of Appeal had ordered a fresh trial in light of new DNA evidence after Bishop was cleared of the girls’ murders in 1987.
Three years later, Bishop was convicted of the kidnap, indecent assault and attempted murder of a seven-year-old girl at Devil’s Dyke, also on VICTIMS: Karen ( and Nicola the South Downs.
Bishop, now aged has denied murder.
Karen’s mother Michelle told jurors how she’d raised concerns in 1989 about Barrie Fellows’ “strange” behaviour and unusual comments after the killings. 52,