THE girlfriend of Babes in the Wood killer Russell Bishop was infatuated when she lied in court to protect him, a jury heard.

Extracts from his graphic, sexually violent letters written were read out to a jury at her perjury trial.

Jennifer Johnson, 55, broke down and covered her ears as the jury heard Bishop’s fantasies.

Members of Johnson’s family listening in the public gallery also broke down as passages from the letters, described as aggressive, sexualised and very graphic, were read out.

The prison letters were written as Bishop was on remand before his first trial for the murders of Karen Hadaway and Nicola Fellows.

The case became known as the Babes in the Wood after their bodies were found in undergrowth at Wild Park close to their homes.

Johnson has admitted she lied under oath at the trial in 1987.

During the trial, she said a sweatshirt which proved his link to the murder scene did not belong to him.

Bishop was acquitted and freed to try and kill another little girl three years later.

The Argus: Babes in the Wood killer Russell Bishop pictured in the 1980sBabes in the Wood killer Russell Bishop pictured in the 1980s

Johnson - who was a teenager when she had her first of three children with Bishop - denies perjury and perverting the course of justice.

She has described him as a monster and told police she was in fear for her life when she changed her story.

Bishop was given a life sentence for the attempted murder of a third little girl in 1990.

He was given a second life sentence in 2018 for the 1986 murders of Karen Hadaway and Nicola Fellows.

The jury at Lewes Crown Court heard expert evidence from forensic psychiatrists who agreed Johnson was infatuated with her violent partner.

Dr Ian Cumming said: “There were certainly elements of infatuation, he was very important to her at the time for a lot of different reasons.”

He agreed Johnson was still concerned about Bishop coming after her more than 20 years after he was jailed.

Chris Henley QC, defending, asked the psychiatrist if there was a profound traumatic legacy of her relationship with Bishop.

Dr Cumming replied: “I think it’s fair to say that.”

The Argus: Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway were murdered in BrightonNicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway were murdered in Brighton

There was no independent reports which could confirm the elements of coercive control in their relationship, the psychiatrist said.

The trial at Lewes Crown Court continues.

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