A JURY has found the former partner of the Babes in the Wood killer guilty of perverting the course of justice to protect him.

Jennifer Johnson lied under oath at Russell Bishop's first trial at Lewes Crown Court in 1987.

He was on trial then for strangling nine-year-old schoolgirls Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway in Wild Park in Brighton in October 1986.

But he escaped justice when a jury acquitted him.

His then partner Jennifer Johnson, now aged 55, changed her story about a key piece of evidence, a blue Pinto sweatshirt.

It linked Bishop to the crime scene and to the girls’ clothing. But after first telling detectives it was his sweater, Johnson changed her story to say it did not belong to him.

In February 1990 Bishop, who was free, abducted a seven-year-old girl from Whitehawk, bundling her into the boot of a car before leaving her for dead at Devil’s Dyke after sexually abusing her.

She survived and identified Bishop, who was jailed for life for kidnap, attempted murder and indecent assault.

But he could not be tried for the murders of Nicola and Karen, both of Newick Road, Moulsecoomb, because of the double jeopardy law.

The government changed the law in 2003 so if new compelling evidence came to light, a defendant could face a murder charge for the second time.

New DNA evidence linked Bishop to the blue Pinto sweatshirt and his DNA was also found on Nicola's body.

In December 2018, after a trial at the Old Bailey in London, he was found guilty of their murders.

This year, Johnson stood trial accused of perjury and perverting the course of justice to protect him at the original trial in 1987.

She had claimed she was intimidated by Bishop and his family to change her story, stating she fell in love with a monster who forced her to lie in court to protect him.

“It’s a nightmare and I’m still living it,” Jennifer Johnson told police after Bishop was given a second life sentence following his retrial in 2018.

“He’s a monster,” she said in a police interview. “I lived my life in fear. I’m still living my life in fear. I met a monster, I didn’t even know but I was young. Young, naive and weak.

“This nightmare will never end, it will never end. They should’ve brought back hanging.”

But a jury at Lewes Crown Court found her guilty of the offences of perjury and perverting the course of justice.