NOBODY held a gun to the head of a woman to make her lie to help a child killer, a jury was told.

Jennifer Johnson, 55, has been on trial accused of perjury and perverting the course of justice in the original investigation of the Babes in the Wood murders in Brighton.

The former partner of child killer Russell Bishop was so besotted with him that she told lies upon lies in a failed bid to keep him out of prison.

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

At Lewes Crown Court, Alison Morgan QC said Johnson was firmly on Team Bishop.

The mother-of-four denies perjury and perverting the course of justice.

Ms Johnson told the court she was terrified into lying by Bishop and his family.

Ms Morgan told the jury in her closing speech: “She was part of Team Bishop, not a victim of it.”

Bishop murdered Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway in 1986 in a case which became known as the Babes in the Wood.

The former roofer from Brighton was freed after Johnson lied under oath at his first trial in 1987.

The jury have been told Ms Johnson admits changing her story in the witness box after telling police a sweatshirt which linked him to the murders belonged to Bishop.

He was freed and attacked another girl from Whitehawk three years later.

Bishop was serving a life sentence for the attempted murder of the girl in 1990 when new DNA techniques forced a double jeopardy retrial in 2018.

He was jailed for life with a minimum of 36 years in 2019.

Alison Morgan told the jury Johnson lied easily and only admitted changing her story in the witness box after the retrial.

“She knew all along,” Ms Morgan said.

“For 35 years she knew the truth about that garment. She has said she is sorry but never once in all those years did she come forward. Never once did she tell the truth.”

The jury have been told they have to decide if Ms Johnson was forced to lie in a signed witness statement and under oath in court against her will.

“Nobody has a gun to her head,” Ms Morgan said. “Nobody said I’m going to kill you if you don’t sign that, you’re going to die tomorrow if you don’t sign that.”

Ms Morgan said a doctor who treated her described Ms Johnson as confident, assertive and tough.

“She is a resourceful, forceful, strong woman,” Ms Morgan said.

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

The trial at Lewes Crown Court continues.