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Last Updated: Monday, 15 September, 2003, 18:11 GMT 19:11 UK
Babes in wood families 'find evidence'
Karen Hadaway (left) and Nicola Fellows (right)
Karen Hadaway and Nicola Fellows were nine when they were killed
The families of two nine-year-old girls murdered in 1986 say they hope new evidence may lead to the conviction of their killer.

Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway were sexually assaulted and strangled near their homes in Brighton.

Russell Bishop, who was jailed for life for the kidnap and attempted murder of another child, was tried for their murders, but found not guilty.

The two girls were found dead in Brighton's Wild Park and their killing became known as the "Babes in the Wood" case.

By now they should be married, having children and grandchildren for my brother and his wife
Nigel Heffron, Nicola's uncle

The trial of Bishop, a local roofer, came to an end when the case against him was found to be flawed and he was acquitted.

But the families of the two girls - who were buried side by side - have never given up hope that somebody will one day be convicted for their murders.

Nigel Heffron, Nicola Fellows' uncle, claimed evidence and witnesses had been found which had not been acted upon.

He said on Monday: "Nine years of age they both lost their lives - no age at all.

Nicola's uncle at the girls' grave
The girls are buried side by side in a Brighton cemetery

"By now they should be married, having children and grandchildren for my brother and his wife.

"Their lives were stamped out too young, before they even had a chance to live a life.

"Six fresh witnesses were found by the family and myself that identified an item of clothing.

"The police knew of these witnesses, the prosecution knew of these witnesses and so did the defence know of these witnesses, but not one of these people was called to court."

Last November Sussex Police said they were reviewing the case and looking to see if forensic testing "could take the case forward".

On Monday, detectives were playing down suggestions that new DNA evidence and witnesses had been found, but confirmed evidence was under review and the case was not closed.


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