Mother of murdered Brighton schoolgirl receives settlement and apology from the BBC

The BBC has reached a confidential settlement and restated its apology to Michelle Hadaway, mother of Brighton schoolgirl Karen Hadaway, who with her friend Nicola Fellows was sexually assaulted and strangled in Brighton in 1986 at the age of nine in what became known as the Babes in the Wood murders.

In 1991, Michelle Hadaway claimed that the former disgraced BBC reporter Martin Bashir requested her daughter’s clothes for DNA tests for the BBC Two social affairs programme Public Eye. Subsequently the investigation was never aired. Ms Hadaway’s calls for the return of her daughter’s clothes were ignored by the Broadcaster, and despite a review of the case in a fresh effort to try to locate the clothing in 2021, the clothes were never returned.

The families of the two girls spent decades fighting for justice after their killer, Russell Bishop, was initially acquitted of their murders in 1987. After another trial in 2018, Bishop was found guilty of the murders and was jailed for a minimum of 36 years and died in 2022.

Adam Wagner acted for Karen Hadaway, instructed by Mishcon de Reya.

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