Babes in the Wood Brighton: Jennifer Johnson cross examined

THE FORMER partner of the Babes in the Wood killer attacked a teenage love rival, a court heard.

Jennifer Johnson is on trial accused of perverting the course of justice to get Brighton child killer Russell Bishop off the hook in the 1980s.

A jury heard killer Bishop wrote to her asking her permission to perform sex acts with her while he was serving a sentence for burglary.

Lewes Crown Court heard she kept graphic, sexually violent letters Bishop wrote to her from prison in her handbag.

She is accused of perjury and perverting the course of justice by lying about Bishop’s blue Pinto sweatshirt which was found near the scene of the murders of Nicola Fellows and Karent Hadaway, both aged nine, at Wild Park in 1986.

Alison Morgan QC told Ms Johnson: “What we see in these letters is not sexual abuse is it?

“It is consensual, graphic exchanges and that is what your sex life was like.”

“No, it is not,” Ms Johnson said.

The court was also told Ms Johnson physically attacked a love rival, ripped the wing mirror off a car and threw a brick through Bishop’s windscreen before he was acquitted.

RUSSELL BISHOPS (BABES IN THE WOOD MURDERS) EX GIRLFRIEND JENNY JOHNSON AT BRIGHTON MAGS COURT TODAY UP FOR PERVERTYING THE COURSE OF JUSTICE - IN BALCK WIG . MASK AND GLOVES AND SHADES

RUSSELL BISHOPS (BABES IN THE WOOD MURDERS) EX GIRLFRIEND JENNY JOHNSON AT BRIGHTON MAGS COURT TODAY UP FOR PERVERTYING THE COURSE OF JUSTICE – IN BALCK WIG . MASK AND GLOVES AND SHADES

Years after the infamous murders of Karen Hadaway and Nicola Fellows, Ms Johnson, then aged 26, was fined after she hit and cut the hair of a 15-year-old schoolgirl.

Ms Johnson was cautioned by police after abusing another mother at school gates in 2004, the court heard.

Ms Johnson denied the incidents showed she was an aggressive bully.

Ms Morgan asked Ms Johnson if it had ever occurred to her the best way to help her family was to tell the truth.

“I couldn’t tell the truth because I was petrified for my own life,” Ms Johnson said.

“If he had been convicted in 1986, he would not have been able to commit that second attack in 1990.

“For 32 years, you never told the police what you had said was not true,” Ms Morgan told her.

Ms Johnson said: “Why would I go to the police when I knew his family were still outside and he could have got to me one way or another.”

Ms Johnson has admitted lying under oath when Bishop was acquitted of the murders of nine-year-olds Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway in 1987.

Jennifer Johnson is on trial for perverting the course of justice to aid child killer Russell Bishop in Brighton in the 1980s, who killed Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway

Jennifer Johnson is on trial for perverting the course of justice to aid child killer Russell Bishop in Brighton in the 1980s, who killed Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway

He was freed and attempted to murder another seven-year-old girl three years later.

Ms Johnson was charged with perjury after new DNA techniques linked Bishop to a sweatshirt.

NOT FOR USE AFTER 30th JANUARY 2019 Undated handout photo issued by Sussex Police of a blue Pinto sweatshirt, allegedly worn by Russell Bishop and said to contain vital DNA evidence, which was found beside a path behind Moulsecoomb railway station.

NOT FOR USE AFTER 30th JANUARY 2019 Undated handout photo issued by Sussex Police of a blue Pinto sweatshirt, allegedly worn by Russell Bishop and said to contain vital DNA evidence, which was found beside a path behind Moulsecoomb railway station.

Bishop was already serving a life sentence when new evidence proved his link to the shirt connected to the murders of Karen and Nicola.

He was given another life sentence with a minimum of 36 years in 2018.

The mother of his three children, Jenny Johnson, admitted she changed her story in court to say he ever owned the sweatshirt after telling police it was his.

Jennifer Johnson, 55, told a court she was forced to lie in court out of fear of Bishop and his family.

Ms Johnson told her perjury trial she feared for her life despite believing Bishop was not capable of murdering the girls.

Undated file photo of Russell Bishop, who has been found guilty of the 1986 Babes in the Woods murders of schoolgirls Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway, ending two familiesÕ 32-year fight for justice. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date:

Undated file photo of Russell Bishop, who has been found guilty of the 1986 ‘Babes in the Woods’ murders of schoolgirls Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway, ending two familiesÕ 32-year fight for justice. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date:

The court heard Ms Johnson turned on police when they came to her house to question Bishop about the disappearance of another little girl from the same area of Brighton.

“I was angry, yes, because they came to my house yet again.

“Yes, I was mad that they came to my house yet again, turned my life upside down yet again.”

The court heard Ms Johnson defended Bishop and accused police of picking on him.

“He was acquitted, so in my eyes he was innocent.

“I know he was violent to me but I wouldn’t think any normal person would do that to children.

“So if he was innocent of the first one, they were trying to frame him for the second one.

“I was fed up with the police coming to my property,” Ms Johnson told the court.

Ms Johnson denied lying under oath so the couple could sell their story when he was acquitted.

Alison Morgan QC asked her how much money Bishop stood to collect if he was found not guilty.

“£15,000 from the News of the World,” Ms Johnson said.

Ms Morgan told her: “In 1987 that’s a great deal of money.

“How much were you getting?

“You went in to the box and told lies about the most crucial piece of evidence and you knew there was a pay day coming.”

Ms Johnson said she knew the paper wanted a story.

“The pay day would come if he was acquitted,” Ms Morgan asked.

“Yes,” Ms Johnson said.

Jennifer Johnson, of Saunders Park View, Brighton, denies perjury and perverting the course of justice.

The trial at Lewes Crown Court continues.

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