BBC responds to Babes in Wood’s mom over Martin Bashir’s claims Brighton News

The BBC has agreed to speak with the mother of Babes in the Wood victim Karen Hadaway to discuss the loss of her murdered daughter’s clothes.

The grieving mother said BBC reporter Martin Bashir took her clothes for DNA testing in 1991 but never returned them.

Michelle Hadaway said that Mr. Bashir signed a note in 1991 indicating that he was taking clothes.

She says the items were what Karen was wearing when she died.

The nine-year-old girl was murdered with her friend Nicola Fellows in Wild Park, Brighton, 1986.

The Argus: Karen Hadaway (left) and Nicola Fellows (right)Karen Hadaway (left) and Nicola Fellows (right)

The BBC responded after Ms Hadaway called for an investigation similar to Lord Dyson’s report of Mr Bashir’s interview with Princess Diana and claimed she was considering legal action.

A BBC spokesperson told The Argus: “We appreciate how painful this must be for Ms Hadaway and of course we will discuss this matter with her if and when she wishes.”

Ms Hadaway said that not having the clothes may have prevented her from prosecuting her daughter’s murderer in court and asked for an apology from Mr Bashir.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, Mr Bashir was asked about the potentially crucial piece of evidence and replied, “I may have lost it but I don’t remember.”

Karen and her friend Nicola, also nine, were found sexually assaulted and strangled in a wooded den in Brighton in October 1986 during what became known as the Babes in the Wood murders.

The Argus: Michelle Hadaway wants an investigation into how she was treated by Martin BashirMichelle Hadaway wants an investigation into how she was treated by Martin Bashir

The families of the two girls have spent decades fighting for justice after their murderer, Russell Bishop, was initially found not guilty of their murders in 1987.

Speaking to Woman’s Hour, Ms Hadaway said Mr Bashir visited her in 1991 and asked to have Karen’s clothes DNA tested, saying science has advanced in the five years since the murders , but that he had never returned the clothes.

She said Mr Bashir told her he was working on a program called Public Eye for the BBC.

READ MORE: Russell Bishop convicted of Babes in the Wood murders

“Over the years I have been so mad that this man has never apologized to me, never contacted me, the denials have gone on for quite a long time.

“So he took the clothes, gave me a signed sheet of paper, told me not to worry, it would probably take a few months before the program was released.

“It was then a few more years.

The Argus:

“I didn’t remember who he was, I couldn’t remember the name of the program, all I know is that he took the clothes but he didn’t return them.

When she finally found the receipt, she said she had contacted Mr. Bashir, who told her he did not remember and did not take the clothes.

When asked if she thought that failure to return the clothes might have delayed her quest for justice by decades, she said, “Well, I don’t know because I think if he did. had done a DNA test, we might have been able to go to civil court. plead against the author.

“So not giving them back to me or having them tested for DNA is a little shameful, don’t you think?”

After Bishop was controversially found not guilty in 1987, it took more than 30 years, DNA advances and a change in the law before he was finally convicted in a new trial in 2018. .

Bishop’s ex-girlfriend Jennifer Johnson was jailed for six years last week for committing perjury in her first trial.

A Sussex Police spokesperson said: ‘We are aware of this case, but it had no material impact on the investigation then or later, or the 2018 prosecutions.

“All the necessary forensic evidence had already been obtained from the clothes in 1986 and stored separately, including DNA evidence which did not become accessible until several years later due to advances in forensic technology and which have were crucial in securing Bishop’s eventual conviction.

“The families have also been made aware of this.”

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This notice was published: 2021-05-25 17:20:41