THE woman who survived after being kidnapped and attacked by Babes In The Wood killer Russell Bishop has broken her silence after 32 years and told how she begged the monster to spare her life.
Rachael Watts was roller skating near her home in Whitehawk, Brighton, when she was kidnapped by Bishop and packed into the boot of his Ford Cortina.
He drove her to Devil’s Dyke, where he subjected her to a horrific sex attack, then left her dead, naked, and freezing.
Rachael, who was seven at the time, attempted to barter with Bishop to have her released and offered him the £1 pocket money her father had given her earlier that day.
Rachael, now 40 and a mother of four, has waived her statutory right to anonymity, telling The Sun on Sunday she wants to “let go and stop being scared of people finding out”.
She said: “I don’t remember anything from my childhood before my kidnapping, but every detail of that day is burned into my brain.”
Rachael and her family had recently moved to Whitehawk, and on February 4, 1990, she left to visit a friend. She wheeled home after finding out her friend wasn’t there and after she fell over and crashed into a wall, her father gave her £1 to buy sweets.
She went to the shop but it was closed and after forgetting the way home she asked directions from a stranger – who turned out to be Bishop, who had been acquitted by the court three years earlier after being convicted of the murder of ” Babies in Prison” had been acquitted by Wood” Karen Hadaway and Nicola Fellows.
He immediately grabbed Rachael and put her in the back of his car. To sound the alarm, she took off her roller skates and started screaming.
She said: “He yelled at me to shut up or he’ll kill me. I said ‘I can give you money, I have a pound’.”
The car stopped at Devil’s Dyke and Bishop forced Rachael into the back seat before stripping her naked and performing a sexual assault.
Rachael recalled that after the attack he “put his hands around my neck and choked me. I tried to say, ‘I can’t breathe,’ then I passed out.”
She was unconscious for several minutes and upon waking found herself alone in the remote South Downs.
“When I woke up, everything hurt. I was in the mud under gorse bushes – he must have pushed me there to hide my body. I was naked, bleeding and freezing,” she said.
She saw the headlights of a car and thought it was Bishop, but instead found a couple having coffee after a day outside.
The horrified couple wrapped the frightened child in a jacket and called the police.
After a visit to the hospital, Rachael went home, but the memory of Bishop’s attack haunted her.
But thanks to their evidence and amazing ability to identify Bishop, he was convicted of attempted murder, indecent assault and kidnapping in December 1990 and sentenced to at least 13 years in prison.
Then, in December 2018, following advances in DNA technology, he was finally convicted of the murders of Karen and Nicola.
Bishop, who lived in Hollingdean, died in prison in January but Rachael said she “didn’t celebrate” the news.
She said: “I’m speaking now because I can. When he passed away this year, I finally started to recover.
“I hope there’s a place in Hell for him.”
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/23008241.russell-bishop-survivor-speaks-horrific-attack/?ref=rss Russell Bishop survivor opens up about horrifying attack