Man charged with 'Babes in the Wood' murder

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The Independent Online

Detectives have charged a man with the "Babes in the Wood" murders of two children 30 years ago, Scotland Yard confirmed.

Ronald Jebson, 61, appeared in court today accused of killing young friends Susan Blatchford and Gary Hanlon whose decomposed bodies were found in Epping Forest.

Susan, 11, and Gary, 13, had disappeared from their homes at Enfield, north London, in March 1970.

There was speculation that the pair had run away together but their bodies were found 11 weeks later in a copse in the forest.

The coroner at their inquest recorded an open verdict because scientific tests three decades ago could not tell if the pair had died from foul play or exposure.

But the case was reopened by Scotland Yard four years ago and took a fresh twist last year when the body of Susan was exhumed for further tests to be carried out.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said today: "Ronald Jebson, 61, was charged today with the murders of Susan Blatchford and Gary Hanlon on or before June 1970."

Jebson appeared before Brent magistrates today and was remanded in custody until April 11.