Sussex

Russell Bishop trial: Sexually explicit notes halt hearing

Court sketch of Russell Bishop in the dock Image copyright PA
Image caption Bishop told the court the letters were "not agreed evidence"

A trial was briefly halted as a convicted paedophile stood up to complain when sexually explicit letters were read to the Old Bailey.

Russell Bishop wrote to a girl, 13, while in custody awaiting a first trial in 1987 over Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway's deaths, jurors heard.

Bishop, 52, formerly of Brighton, faces a second trial and denies both murders.

As the prosecution started to read the letters, Bishop said: "It's not agreed evidence. Stop it right now."

The trial paused before Brian Altman QC continued to read the letters.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Karen Hadaway (left) and Nicola Fellows became known as the Babes in the Wood

Jurors heard they were littered with hearts, kisses and expressions of love as well as warnings to keep their relationship a secret.

Bishop talked about spending time at a B&B with the girl and asked her to confirm she was still a "V", the court was told.

He told her he could not send "dirty rhymes" because his letters were monitored but said the authorities could not bar "dirty" post back.

He wrote: "I know how old you are baby, he he. Sixteen or seventeen more weeks and I will be out up to no good again."

Jurors heard Bishop urged the girl to go on "the pill" for when he was released.

He said: "I just hope you can handle it because I'm a man not a boy. I know you've been looking for it for a long time from me."

Image copyright Sussex Police
Image caption Russell Bishop was cleared of murdering the girls in 1987 and faces a second trial

In 1987, Bishop was acquitted of sexually assaulting and strangling Nicola and Karen in Wild Park, near Brighton, in October 1986.

Within three years, he was convicted of the kidnap, sexual assault and attempted murder of a seven-year-old girl on the South Downs.

Earlier, the court heard a statement from one of Bishop's football team-mates in 1986.

William Cutting said Bishop would watch young girls doing handstands and say "wait until she is 13 or 14".

Mr Cutting said he would put the comments down to "lustiness" but the girls were so young.

The trial was adjourned.

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