Prosecutor, Brian Altman QC, told a jury at the Old Bailey on Tuesday, October 16, that advances in DNA profiling had led to Russell Bishop, being put on trial again.
Bishop, 52, has always denied murdering Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway, whose deaths in October 1986 received huge media attention at the time.
"This defendant was arrested in 1986, charged and…on 10 December 1987 he was acquitted by a jury at Lewes Crown Court. Despite the acquittal, the case was never closed and the police have continued to investigate it," Mr. Altman told the jury.
— CourtNewsUK (@CourtNewsUK) 16 October 2018
Nicola and her best friend Karen went missing on the night of October 9, 1986, after going out to play together on the Moulsecoomb housing estate after school.
Bodies Found in Woodland
Their bodies were found the following day in woods at Wild Park on the outskirts of Brighton, a seaside resort in southern England which often hosts political party conferences.
Their semi-naked bodies were found in dense woods. Both had been strangled and sexually assaulted.
— Derek Johnson (@derekjohnsontv) 16 October 2018
"That grim discovery led to the largest and longest-running police inquiry Sussex Police has ever known," said Mr. Altman.
He warned the jurors they would be shown horrific pictures of the girls' dead bodies.
"These images need to be shown because they show the defendant knew important detail about the situation and condition of the girls at the scene that only the killer could have known," Mr. Altman told the jury.
"DNA profiling, which, although available in 1986 and 1987, was then in its infancy," he said.
Latest DNA Techniques Have Been Used
But he said new DNA techniques had been used to tests original items of evidence.
As a result, the Court of Appeal has quashed Bishop's 1987 acquittals and ordered him to face a new trial, which is expected to last up to eight weeks.
— Capital Brighton News (@CapBrightonNews) 16 October 2018
"However, the case against him does not only rely on scientific evidence. It relies on it within the context of the story of the case as a whole, including the defendant's movements, his actions and what he had to say to the police, including, as you will see, significant lies he told at the time," Mr. Altman told the jury.
He said the killings were motivated by a pedophilic interest in young girls and were carried out "by a man who sexually assaulted them for his own gratification."
Russell Bishop trial — if you're not familiar with the Brighton area the M shows the Moulsecoomb estate where the girls lived and the X is Wild Park, where their bodies were found pic.twitter.com/dWjnK4cIXN— Total Crime (@totalcrime) 16 October 2018
In 1990 Bishop — who was only 20 at the time of the murders — was convicted of the kidnap, indecent assault and attempted murder of another girl, this time aged seven, in Brighton.
"The similarities between the events of which he was convicted in 1990 and those in 1986 are such that, together with all other evidence in the case, they can lead you to the sure conclusion that the defendant was responsible also for the murders of Nicola and Karen but a few years earlier," Mr. Altman told the jury.
The trial continues.