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Babes in the Wood killer Russell Bishop has ‘weeks to live’ after brain cancer diagnosis

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Babes in the Wood killer Russell Bishop dies of brain cancer in his prison cell.

Bishop, 55, who killed Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway in 1986 when they were just nine years old, has been told he has weeks to live.

The child killer escaped justice for 32 years before being jailed in 2018.

Babes in the Wood killer Russell Bishop dies of brain cancer in his prison cell, aged 55

Karen Hadaway

Nicola Fellows

Bishop brutally murdered Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway in 1986 when they were just nine years old

The pedophile was initially diagnosed with colon cancer, but it has now spread to his brain, reports The Sun on Sunday.

Bishop underwent surgery to stop the cancer from growing, but it was unsuccessful.

He is said to be ‘devastated’ by the diagnosis and receiving palliative care at HMP Frankland in County Durham, where he is being held.

A source said: “Bishop has weeks or at most months to go and he is devastated by the diagnosis.

Bishop, pictured after his first arrest for the Babes in the Wood murders

Russell Bishop, pictured after his first arrest for the Babes in the Wood murders in 1986

The girls were found dead in this 'den' in the undergrowth in Wild Park, Brighton after he struck

The girls were found dead in this ‘den’ in the undergrowth in Wild Park, Brighton after he struck

“His life is ebbing and he’s getting weaker and weaker.

“Bishop has never shown much remorse for what he has done, so people feel justified in not having much sympathy for him.”

Bishop lured the two best friends to a secluded lair in Brighton’s Wild Park, where he sexually assaulted and strangled them.

The tragic discovery was made just 800 meters from both the girl’s homes.

Bishop was acquitted of the Babes in the Wood murders in 1987 after a series of blunders by police, forensic experts and prosecutors.

Within three years, he kidnapped, molested, and strangled a seven-year-old girl at Devil’s Dyke.

While serving his life for that crime, Bishop was ordered to face a new trial for Nicola and Karen’s murders in the face of a DNA breakthrough.

In 2017, Bishop’s acquittals were quashed and the following year, he was found guilty after a trial.

Pictured: A blue Pinto sweatshirt, reportedly worn by Bishop and believed to contain vital DNA evidence, which was found next to a path behind Moulsecoomb train station

Pictured: A blue Pinto sweatshirt, reportedly worn by Bishop and believed to contain vital DNA evidence, which was found next to a path behind Moulsecoomb train station

Karen Hadaway's mother, Michelle (pictured), claims Martin Bashir took her daughter's clothes and never saw him or the belongings again after that

Karen Hadaway’s mother, Michelle (pictured), claims Martin Bashir took her daughter’s clothes and never saw him or the belongings again after that

The long road to justice

October 10, 1986 – Victims found in woodland in Wild Park, Brighton.

Dec 3, 1986 – Bishop charged with the murders.

Dec 10, 1987 – After a four-week trial, Bishop is acquitted of both murders and released.

February 4, 1990 – Bishop arrested for kidnapping, indecent assault and attempted murder of a seven-year-old girl in Devil’s Dyke, East Sussex.

January 19, 1991 – Bishop convicted of kidnapping, indecent assault and attempted murder and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 14 years.

July 2002 – Babes in the Wood case subject to review and DNA profiling but was unsuccessful.

Apr 2005 – Double risk laws – on people who can be tried twice for the same crime – are being changed.

January 2006 – Forensic tests connect Bishop and the Pinto sweatshirt.

autumn 2006 Families of both victims said there was not enough evidence to proceed with a new case against Bishop.

2011-2012 – Cold case assessment of the murders.

Nov 3, 2013 – Complete re-examination of forensics.

May 10, 2016 – Russell Bishop arrested again.

Dec 2017 – His acquittal was quashed.

Dec 2018 – He’s finally been convicted of the murders.

This summer, Bishop’s girlfriend Jennifer Johnson, 55, was convicted of perverting the course of justice for lying in his first trial.

Johnson stunned police in the dock after suddenly claiming that a blue sweater connected him to the crime scene and that the murders weren’t his. She had previously told investigators that it had been his garment.

Johnson had admitted to lying but pleaded not guilty to perjury and perjury for acting under duress.

But the Lewes Crown Court jury decided she lied again and had been “part of Team Bishop”, desperate to get him out of murder.

Love letters that Johnson had sent to him during the Devils Dyke case and shown to these jurors had made it clear how much effort she would put in for him.

They trembled, “I’m not going to leave you, so don’t worry, because I won’t. because i love you very much and i will write every day because you are special to me and you mean the whole world too.

“Don’t worry if I’m not with your mother, because I can’t always get a nanny, but I’m still thinking about you honey.

‘Can we get married soon and am I booking church right? It’s great that you want to marry me. It’s not prison talk, is it love? I don’t have much to say, so goodbye for now.’

The case also came to the fore recently after the mother of the murdered Karen Hadaway accused journalist Martin Bashir of losing her daughter’s clothes.

Michelle Hadaway says the former BBC religion editor obtained the clothing for DNA testing for BBC Two’s Public Eye program 30 years ago, but the inquiry was not aired and her calls to the broadcaster were ignored, she claimed.

Ms Hadaway previously said Mr Bashir approached her in 1991 and asked to have her daughter’s clothing DNA tested, saying science had advanced in the five years since the murders but had never returned the clothing.

She called him an “unfair villain” and called for a criminal investigation after claiming he delayed the killer’s arrest.

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