Ex-girlfriend of Babes in the Wood killer Russell Bishop says she ‘had no choice but to lie’ over vital piece of evidence
Written by Hitmix News on 30 April 2021
The ex-girlfriend of Babes in the Wood murderer Russell Bishop has told a court she had “no choice” but to lie about the killings.
Nine-year-olds Karen Hadaway and Nicola Fellows were found sexually assaulted and strangled in a Brighton park in 1986 in one of the decade’s most notorious cases.
Bishop, then 20, killed the girls but was cleared in a 1987 trial.
In 1990, he was sentenced for kidnapping and sexually assaulting another girl and leaving her for dead.
Finally, in 2018, by using the latest DNA techniques on a sample from the crime scene which yielded a “one-in-a-billion match”, he was jailed for the girls’ murder.
Image: Russell Bishop in 1988 and 2018 – when he was finally convicted
Ex-partner Jennifer Johnson, 55, has denied perjury and perverting the course of justice in Bishop’s 1987 trial.
She is accused of lying about a vital piece of evidence found near the scene, a sweatshirt, but says she was acting under duress.
On Thursday, her defence began at Lewes Crown Court and when asked if she had anything to declare, she said: “I had no choice but to lie, I’m sorry, I put my hands up but I had no choice.”
She added: “I feel sorry for the families, I wouldn’t know what it’s like to lose a child and I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes.
“But I’m sorry, I didn’t do the crime, but I’m in this court being treated like a criminal, I didn’t murder anyone.”
“I’ve had to live with this all my life, nobody will know what I’ve been through,” she said.
Image: The girls’ bodies were found in a woodland den in Brighton’s Wild Park
The court heard from the defence that Bishop had been abusive to Johnson.
“He forced me to do things I didn’t want to, strangle me, hit me and I couldn’t get help, I was stuck,” she said.
“I used to phone the police but they would do nothing, they’d say it was a domestic issue.”
She said she stayed with Bishop because “she had nowhere else to go”.
Johnson told the court her children had been bullied because of her association with Bishop, and that she had lost her “dream” job working with disabled children.
Bishop is serving a sentence of at least 36 years for the girls’ murders.
The trial continues.