Page last updated at 18:28 GMT, Tuesday, 7 April 2009 19:28 UK

Police quiz Babes in Wood father

Karen Hadaway and Nicola Fellows
Karen Hadaway (left) and Nicola Fellows (right) were strangled

The father of one of the Babes in the Wood murder victims has been questioned by police on suspicion of sexually abusing his daughter.

Barrie Fellows, 59, of Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, and family friend Douglas Judd, 44, of Brighton, were arrested and bailed by detectives in Sussex.

They were both questioned about abuse of Nicola Fellows before she died.

The strangled bodies of Nicola, nine, and Karen Hadaway, also nine, were found in Wild Park in Brighton in 1986.

A spokeswoman for Sussex Police said the investigation was "quite distinct from the ongoing unresolved inquiry into the Wild Park murders, commonly known as the 'Babes in the Wood' murders".

Mr Fellows was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to rape Nicola and Mr Judd was arrested on suspicion of rape. Both men were bailed until 18 June.

Bodies found

Nicola and Karen, both from Moulsecoomb, were last seen alive on the afternoon of 9 October 1986. Their bodies were found the next day.

Russell Bishop, a labourer who knew both girls and their families and had helped in the search, was acquitted of the murders in the following year.

Police say the abuse inquiry is 'distinct' from the murder investigation

Mr Fellows said after his release that a false allegation was made in 1987 by an ex-girlfriend of Bishop, which caused "massive distress" to him and his family.

He said: "I am absolutely devastated that the police have chosen to re-visit this false claim and arrest myself and another man."

He added: "Not a day goes by when Nicola is not on my mind and in my family's thoughts."

After a review of the case, Sussex Police said in 2006 that there was not enough new evidence to prosecute any possible suspects.

Officers have appealed for anyone with information that might help their investigation to contact them.

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