New twist in Babes in the Wood case

Father of murdered Nicola Fellows arrested on suspicion of planning to rape her
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Police investigating the murder of a schoolgirl killed in woodland 23 years ago arrested her father yesterday on suspicion of planning to rape the nine-year-old before her death.

Nicola Fellows was raped and murdered with her friend, Karen Hadaway, 10, in Wild Park in Brighton in 1986. The case became known as the Babes in the Wood murders and remains unsolved.

Sussex Police said a woman had come forward with information and two men aged 59 and 44 had been arrested on suspicion of sexual assault.

A police source said the 59-year-old was Nicola's father, Barrie Fellows, who was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to rape his daughter; Douglas Judd, a family friend from Brighton, was arrested on suspicion of rape.

The source said the woman who came forward was not a relative of Nicola. The force stressed the allegations were not related to the 1986 murders.

In 1987, Russell Bishop, a 42-year-old roofer who knew the girls, was tried and acquitted of their murders. He is now serving a life sentence for the abduction, molestation and attempted murder of a seven-year-old in 1990.

Mr Fellows, who was bailed, condemned the police and claimed the allegations were based on a lie made by an ex-girlfriend of Mr Bishop.