BBC Apologises After Journalist Lost Vital Evidence In Murder Case
Martin Bashir is being accused of losing a vital piece of evidence in a murder case.
Michelle Hadaway made the allegations against the former BBC journalist, claiming that he took some of her daughter’s clothing for DNA testing three decades ago, but failed to return them.
Hadaway’s daughter, Karen, and her school friend Nicola Fellows were both found dead in Brighton in 1986. They were just nine years old.
Both families spent years fighting for justice as the girls’ killer, Russell Bishop, was initially found not guilty in 1987, Independent reports.
He later stood a retrial in 2018 where a jury found him guilty for murder thanks to substantial new evidence coming to light through the help of modern-day technology.
Bishop is now serving two life sentences behind bars.
Following Karen’s death, Michelle says she gave some of her daughter’s clothing to Bashir to be tested for a BBC programme, Public Eye, presuming she’d get them back.
Bashir reportedly reached out to Michelle in 1991 and persuaded her on the basis that science had improved since the time of her daughter’s death, implying more testing could prove useful.
Now, over 30 years later, she has argued that Bashir failing to return the clothes may have helped stop Bishop from being tied to the girls’ murders for so long.
In light of her grievances and a damning report by the Mail on Sunday on the matter, the BBC has issued an apology.
A spokesperson for the national broadcaster said:
The BBC is extremely sorry for the distress this has caused Ms Hadaway and 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.
‘We are continuing to look into this matter following the Dyson inquiry, and as part of that, we asked a former senior BBC executive to review what happened in this case, including the 2004 investigation, and see if anything was missed which could help us locate the clothing,’ the spokesperson continued.
It’s believed that Bashir denied having taken the clothes at the time, and continues to do so now.
Michelle spoke of her frustrations earlier this year. She said while featuring on Women’s Hour, ‘Over the years I’ve been so angry with the fact that this man has never apologised to me, never contacted me, the denials have been going on for quite a long time.’
While the BBC has apologised, Bashir is yet to do so.
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