THE families of the Babes in the Wood cannot bear to think about the exact details of what happened to the nine-year-olds in the undergrowth behind the memorial tree in Wild Park.

Nicola’s uncle Nigel Heffron said: “When we come to Wild Park we don’t dwell on what happened to the girls in these woods or we would go insane.

“We come back here as the families of two young girls to share a solemn moment.

“If I had any choice, of course I would have Nicky back.

“My family should not have had to do what we did.

“She would be over 40. She could be married, have kids of her own.

“How much more has that man taken away from us?

“But I can’t rest yet, there’s still outstanding stuff to do.”

Nigel was instrumental in securing Bishop’s retrial last year – and the full story is revealed in a new book out today.

Nicola’s uncles Nigel and Ian fought to keep the case in the public eye. Nigel told The Argus: “Myself and my brothers would not give in.

“They could hold us back as much as they liked but we still came back again.

“I had to put my brother Barrie under the microscope to prove my brother was not all these things.

“If he had been involved we would have strung him out ourselves.

“There are so many people in our families who never got to see justice.

“It has lifted a big stain off this city.

“It makes me feel a bit better that people will know the truth, but we still aren’t anywhere near being able to start to think about closure.

“Thirty two years we have been fighting for justice.

“We gave everything we could find to the police expecting them to say ‘thank you guys’. But we were effectively warned off.

“Mud sticks and Barrie has been dragged through the mud.

“Barrie had nothing to do with murdering his daughter.

“This city chased Barrie out of Brighton, chased the whole family out, graffiti was daubed on their houses. “

Bishop was originally cleared of the murders by a jury at Lewes Crown Court in 1986.

Nigel said: “All the information I could find I handed over to the police. I was expecting them to say thank you.”

He was instrumental in uncovering the significance of a blue Pinto sweatshirt which, with the advances of DNA technology, proved vital to the eventual conviction.

Nigel found there were several witnesses never called at Bishop’s first trial who could prove the Pinto sweater was his.

He also got a job as a tour guide at the Houses of Parliament then used his position to get to then Home Secretary David Blunkett to fight for the centuries-old legal loophole double jeopardy – which meant a person could never be tried twice for the same crime – overturned.

Nigel hopes the new book will help tell the full story once and for all.

l See tomorrow’s Argus for an extract from the book, The Babes In The Wood Murders by Paul Cheston