Paedophile attacked girl out of anger after first Babes in the Wood trial, jury told

Paedophile attacked girl out of anger after first Babes in the Wood trial, jury told
Paedophile attacked girl out of anger after first Babes in the Wood trial, jury told

A convicted paedophile has told jurors he molested a seven-year-old girl to "belittle and shame" her after he was cleared of the Babes in the Wood murders.

Russell Bishop, 52, is on trial for the second time for killing Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway in light of new forensic evidence.

The nine-year-old friends, dubbed the Babes in the Wood, were sexually assaulted and strangled in Wild Park in Brighton in October 1986.

Within three years, Bishop was convicted of abducting, sexually assaulting and trying to kill a seven-year-old girl at Devils Dyke on the South Downs, the Old Bailey has heard.

Despite trying unsuccessfully to appeal against his conviction and discretionary life sentence, Bishop told the jury he was "deeply ashamed" of what he had done in 1990.

Under cross-examination on Monday, he insisted he was not a paedophile but was just "bloody angry" at a hate campaign against him and thought "I might as well do it".

Prosecutor Brian Altman QC asked: "This was all about revenge?"

The defendant replied: "Partly."

Mr Altman went on: "So the attempted murder of (the girl) was born out of revenge by virtue of the three years of the hate you and your family suffered?

"You are portraying yourself as a victim.

"This offence was all about sexual gratification and you are a paedophile?"

Bishop denied it.

Mr Altman continued: "You enjoy controlling children and one aspect of your control of children, particularly girls, is sexual gratification."

Bishop said: "No, not in any way."

The prosecutor asked: "Why did you choose a young girl who was two years younger than the age of the two girls you were accused of murdering?"

Bishop said: "It could have been anyone. Through the psychological trauma of the hate campaign and what everyone else was saying it came out in that behaviour."

The defendant said he assaulted the girl to "belittle and shame her because I was bloody angry at everyone - at her and everyone who had done that to me".

Mr Altman asserted: "This is all rubbish. This is all lies.

"You attacked that young girl because you had a sexual interest in children. It had nothing to do with three years of hate but everything to do with Russell Bishop and your character, didn't it?

"There are very good reasons for what I also suggest are obvious and striking similarities between the two offences because the killer of those two girls in October 1986 was the same person who attacked (the seven-year-old) in 1990. And that man is you."

As he was being questioned about his "sexual interest" in children, Bishop became agitated and appealed to the trial judge.

He said: "Your honour. Is this legal? Is this correct?"

Mr Justice Sweeney told Bishop that it was, and if it was not, he would stop it.

The defendant became even more agitated when he was quizzed about love letters he wrote to a 13-year-old girl while in prison awaiting his 1987 trial.

After lunch, the jury was told that Bishop had declined to continue his cross-examination by Mr Altman.

Mr Justice Sweeney said: "You will observe immediately, of course, Mr Bishop is in the dock, not the witness box.

"That is because he has declined to give any further evidence. As you have gathered, I have given him time to consider that but that is ultimately his position.

"I will give you directions in due course as to how you should approach that. The practical effect of that he is can be asked no more questions in cross- examination and his evidence to you is at an end."

The judge said there was a further defence witness who would be called at 11.30am on Tuesday.

Bishop was cross-examined by Mr Altman for less than an hour and a half.

Bishop denies murdering Nicola and Karen.