THE former girlfriend of the Babes in the Wood killer has failed in her appeal bid after being convicted of perjury.

Jennifer Johnson was jailed after lying about a key piece of evidence while the murderer was on trial for killing two schoolgirls in Brighton.

The 56-year-old was convicted after her lies helped Russell Bishop escape justice for three decades. 

Bishop was eventually jailed more than 30 years after the murders of Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway.

In this time, he had attacked and almost killed another little girl.

The Argus: Jennifer Johnson was jailed for six years in May last yearJennifer Johnson was jailed for six years in May last year

Bishop was 20 when he sexually assaulted and strangled the two girls in a woodland den in Wild Park in 1986.

Johnson lied about a blue sweater during Bishop's original 1987 trial where he was cleared of murdering the nine-year-old girls.

Bishop went on to kidnap, molest and throttle a seven-year-old girl from Whitehawk less than three years later.

Jurors convicted Bishop following a trial at the Old Bailey on the 31st anniversary of his acquittal.

He was eventually jailed in 2018 for a minimum of 36 years. He has since died in prison.

Johnson was given a six-year prison sentence in May last year, with a judge telling her she remained silent for decades despite knowing she had lied to protect a murderer.

Judge Peter Fraser said: “Your dishonest support of Bishop lasted a number of years.

"You did not finally tell the truth until 2019.

"The effect of your dishonesty lasted for three decades.

"Having seen you give evidence over three days, it is difficult to believe anything you say. You are an accomplished liar.

"You wanted Bishop home with you, not in prison.”

Three judges dismissed an appeal bid by 56-year-old Jennifer Johnson.

Lord Justice Fulford, Mrs Justice Cutts and Mr Justice Henshaw refused to give Johnson the go-ahead to challenge her conviction and sentence.

The appeal judges heard that Johnson was jailed by Mr Justice Fraser at Lewes Crown Court in May 2021 after being convicted of perverting the course of justice and making a false statement.

Johnson said she had been “a vulnerable young mother” in an “abusive relationship with Bishop” in the late 1980s.

Lawyers representing her argued that a fair trial had been impossible more than 30 years after the “relevant events” and said proceedings should have been “stayed”.

They said the judge’s summing up had been “demonstrably one-sided” – and Johnson had been “denied a fair trial”.

Lawyers also said Johnson’s “defence of duress” failed “adequately to address” the circumstances of the “violent, coercive and controlling relationship” she had been in with Bishop.

The appeal judges disagreed and refused to give Johnson “leave to appeal”.



Bishop died in prison in January, it is understood that he had cancer.