A MAN accused of murdering two schoolgirls more than 30 years ago has appeared in the dock.

Russell Bishop allegedly killed nine-year-olds Karen Hadaway and Nicola Fellows at Wild Park in Brighton in October 1986.

The 52-year-old, formerly from Brighton, wore a grey Adidas top, grey jogging bottoms, and blue and white trainers at the Old Bailey in London.

He seemed relaxed as he took notes on A4 pads of paper during the first day of his trial in the capital yesterday morning.

Bishop was flanked by two security guards after he was brought up in front of the judge, Mr Justice Sweeney.

His trial could last as long as eight weeks, but is expected to be completed before Christmas.

Bishop spoke only to confirm his name yesterday, but also passed notes to his defence team.

Bishop was in court for one and a half hours.

Last month he appeared via video link in the same court.

On that occasion he also denied the charges in advance of the trial.

Bishop was arrested and charged in 2016.

A jury panel of 24 people was selected and on Tuesday, a jury of 14 will be sworn in to hear the prosecution opening by Brian Altman QC.

The opening of the trial with the prosecution making its case is expected to last until Friday.

Bishop is being represented by Joel Bennathan QC in the case.

The girls were found in woodland, near the Moulsecoomb housing estate where they lived.

Members of the girls’ families were in the public gallery of court number seven for the start of the trial.

There was also a large amount of media interest in the case, with journalists from national broadcast and newspapers attending.

Bishop has been remanded in custody to appear back before the court at 10.45am today when the trial continues.