Home UK Father in tears as he denies killing daughter 32 years ago

Father in tears as he denies killing daughter 32 years ago

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The father of a young girl murdered with her friend 32 years ago broke down in tears as he denied being involved in her sexual abuse and death.

Barrie Fellows was called to give evidence on Tuesday in the re-trial of Russell Bishop for the murders of nine-year-olds Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway.

They disappeared while playing near their homes in Moulsecoomb, Brighton, in October 1986 before their bodies were found the following day on the South Downs in Wild Park.

Bishop, 52, was acquitted of the murders in 1987 but was ordered to stand trial again after new evidence was unearthed following advances in DNA testing.

Image: Russell Bishop is facing trial for the second time over the murders. Pic: Sussex Police

His defence team has pointed the finger at Nicola's father, Mr Fellows, saying police spent 32 years investigating the wrong man.

But Mr Fellows told jurors on Tuesday he took police to look around Wild Park because it was his daughter's "favourite" spot.

He said he had banned Nicola from the park after dark, even telling her the "bogeyman" lived there, and denied knowing she had a camp or "secret den" at the site.

Joel Bennathan QC, representing Bishop, asked Mr Fellows: "Were you party to Nicola being filmed in a pornographic video, Mr Fellows?"

Mr Fellows said: "No."

The lawyer went on: "Were you anything to do with her death?"

Mr Fellows appeared close to tears as he again replied: "No."

Nicola's father said he was cleaning a swimming pool and gardening at a house in Hove the day the girls went missing.

He came back home on the bus via butchers to pick up some ham for supper and stopped at the nearby house of Theresa Judd with her brother-in-law Dougie Judd, he said.

The lawyer suggested there was an hour missing in his alibi, and asked if Mr Fellows went to Wild Park before he went home, which he denied.

"You are trying to mislead me, sir. It's not happening," Mr Fellows said.

He admitted giving Nicola a "thick ear" once and threatening to "chop her fingers off" when she was suspected at school of stealing.

Asked about breaking his great-grandmother-in-law's nose, Mr Fellows said: "The police did not want to take it any further. I swung around and did not see her, seriously, sir.

"I do not deliberately punch old ladies on the nose."

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