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I can’t imagine the nightmare of Michelle Hadaway’s life. Back in 1986 her world changed forever when her daughter Karen and her friend Nicola, both aged nine, were sexually assaulted and strangled in Brighton in what became known as the Babes in the Wood murders.
A year later their killer Russell Bishop was found not guilty of their murder. Then in 1991 Martin Bashir, the disgraced BBC journalist, came into her life.
The BBC were making a documentary for the BBC2 programme Public Eye about the murders and the acquittal of Bishop.
Bashir told Ms Hadaway that he if she handed over the clothes that her daughter was wearing when attacked he would have them tested presumably to see if there was any sign of Bishop’s DNA.
That documentary was never aired and the clothes were never returned. Her 30 years of pleas to the BBC went unanswered.
When Sussex police opened a cold case review and requested the return of the evidence in 2004 Bashir reportedly claimed he had no idea where the clothes were and had no recollection of ever meeting the family.
Thanks to new evidence unearthed by the police Bishop was found guilty of the murders and will serve a minimum of 36 years in prison.
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But there is still no sign of Karen’s clothes. The BBC has acted despicably in this case. Clearly they could not give a stuff about the clothes even though they knew how much they would have meant to the mother.
Thanks to pressure brought to bear on the BBC by the Mail on Sunday they now claim they are conducting a review o the case. After 30 years? Big deal.
They are also apologising. ‘’The BBC is extremely sorry for the distress this has caused to Ms Hadaway,’’ a spokesman for the BBC said.
‘’We deeply regret we have not been able to give her any answers about what happened. We are appalled that this clothing was lost after being obtained as part of an investigation for a BBC programme.’’
Do they really believe that or are they just saying it because a newspaper has shone a light on their disgraceful behaviour and that of one of their employees.
I don’t believe a word they and the sooner they make a substantial payment to Ms Hadaway for the grief she has suffered the better.
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