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Sunday 26th May 2019

Babes in the Wood viewers praise brave girl who helped put child killer away

She survived an attack in 1989 that led police back to the killer

ITV aired its heartbreaking new documentary last night (March 28) about a child killer who evaded justice for 32 years.

Babes in the Wood, presented by Sir Trevor McDonald, followed the investigation into the deaths of nine-year-olds Karen Hadaway and Nicola Fellows in 1986.

Using a mix of police footage and family testimony, it took viewers through the harrowing story of how the girls' bodies were found, and killer Russell Bishop was arrested, tried and subsequently let off after a jury found him not guilty.

Trevor McDonald presented the harrowing special (Credit: ITV)

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Following Bishop's acquittal and its impact on the families of the murdered girls, Babes in the Wood then explored a case in 1989 of a little girl who was kidnapped and attacked like Karen and Nicola.

But this child survived her ordeal and, with her help, Sussex police built a case that had Bishop as its prime suspect and put him away for attempted murder.

Karen and Nicola's bodies were found in a park near their homes in Brighton (Credit: ITV)

It was this little girl and her part in the tragic story that had viewers heartbroken, and many took to Twitter to praise her bravery.

One wrote: "What a brave little girl. To hear her voice when she was picking that monster out of the identity parade."

That little girl was amazing. She went through the worst ordeal but she was gutsy and brave.

Another simply tweeted, alongside a broken-heart emoji: "Brave little girl, bless her."

A third commented: "That little girl was amazing. She went through the worst ordeal but she was gutsy and brave. She helped put away an evil killer."

Someone else posted, with a crying emoji: "Hearing that little girl's voice broke my heart. Brave little girl. Now, [I] want [to] hold my little girl and protect her."

A fifth, who said they found the documentary difficult to watch, wrote: "That unbelievably brave little seven-year-old girl who escaped deserves the moon on a stick."

"Her Christmas letter broke my heart. I really hope she is OK and living a happy life."

It wasn't until 2013 that the investigation into Karen and Nicola's deaths reopened, when DNA had become a much more reliable forensic tool.

Investigators eventually linked Bishop to the murders though DNA evidence from one of the girls' bodies, preserved for nearly three decades.

The investigation reopened in 2013 (Credit: ITV)

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Bishop's second trial saw a jury find him guilty and, in December last year, he was handed two life sentences.

What were your thoughts after watching Babes in the Wood? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think.