Sussex

Russell Bishop trial: Dead girl 'not assaulted months earlier'

Karen Hadaway (left) and Nicola Fellows Image copyright PA
Image caption Karen Hadaway (left) and Nicola Fellows had gone out to play after school

A pathologist has rejected suggestions that one of two girls found dead in woods near Brighton 32 years ago had been sexually assaulted months earlier.

Russell Bishop's lawyer had told his trial that the father of one of the nine-year-old victims had previously been "complicit" in her sexual abuse.

But, pathologist Dr Nathaniel Cary told the Old Bailey the injuries occurred around the time of death, not earlier.

Bishop, 52, denies murdering Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway.

The schoolgirls' bodies were found in Wild Park, on the outskirts of Brighton, in October 1986.

The court has heard they had been strangled and sexually assaulted.

Image copyright Sussex Police/PA
Image caption The girls' bodies were found in a woodland den in Wild Park, near Brighton

Brian Altman QC, prosecuting, said: "In the course of this trial, certain allegations are going to be made that Barrie Fellows, Nicola's father, was observed two-to-three months before Nicola's death watching a video in his front room of his own daughter engaged in sexual activities with the lodger who lived at the address at the time."

However, Dr Cary, who has reviewed the findings of the original pathologist in 1986, said the injuries Nicola had suffered were inflicted around the time of her death, and if she had suffered internal sexual abuse within the preceding few months, he would have expected to see evidence of it.

Image copyright Sussex Police
Image caption Russell Bishop was cleared of the girls' murder in 1987, but fresh evidence led to the acquittal being quashed

Earlier, a former detective told the trial he had not used violence or aggression while interviewing Bishop.

Retired Det Con Barry Evans denied playing "soft copper, hard copper" with Bishop, who was then aged 20.

Bishop's earlier acquittal for the murders of Nicola and Karen was quashed at the Court of Appeal in the light of new evidence following advances in DNA testing.

The trial continues.

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