11:13pm UK, Thursday June 23, 2011
Nightclub bouncer Levi Bellfield has been convicted of abducting and
murdering schoolgirl Milly Dowler.
It is Bellfield’s third murder conviction and makes him Britain’s newest
He lured 13-year-old Milly into his flat as she walked home from
school, killed her and later dumped her naked body in a remote wood where he
used to walk his dog.
Milly’s mother Sally and sister Gemma, 25, collapsed in tears after hearing
the verdict at the Old Bailey.
Police mistakes let Bellfield, 43, avoid capture and destroy vital
The violent predator went on to stalk and murder two young women and tried to
kill a third before he was arrested.
times until they got an answer. By that time he had moved and officers did not
bother to find out where he had gone.
Bellfield’s conviction brings to a close one of Britain’s most notorious
She had just shared a plate of chips with friends at the railway station and
set off alone to walk the mile to the family’s home.
There were few clues to her disappearance, no witnesses, no CCTV images, no
forensic evidence to identify her abductor.
For several weeks her father Bob Dowler was put under police surveillance as
a major suspect, a suspicion that grew when detectives learned that Milly had
been upset to discover his “extreme porn” magazines and had threatened to run
away. Mr Dowler was later ruled out of the investigation.
During the trial Milly’s parents were questioned about his sex life and the
discovery of bondage gear in the family loft.
Mum Sally broke down in the witness box and her elder sister Gemma later fled
the court in tears at her mother’s distress and was too distraught to give
Prosecutor Brian Altman QC told the jury that Milly was “slim, pretty and
intelligent, an ordinary girl who was developing into a fine young woman”.
He told the jury the case against Bellfield was circumstantial, but
Bellfield had been at his girlfriend’s flat when Milly disappeared and he had
behaved oddly afterwards, returning to the apartment alone in the early hours to
remove his victim’s body and destroy the bedclothes where he had killed her.
He had switched off his mobile telephone, got rid of his car and then
persuaded his partner Emma Mills to give up tenancy of the flat.
He had acted in a similar way at the time of his two subsequent murders, said
Unusually, because of those similarities, the jury was told that Bellfield
was already serving life imprisonment for the later murders of student Amelie
Delagrange, aged 22, and 19-year-old Marsha McDonnell.
He bludgeoned them after following them at night in West London and also tried to kill student Kate Sheedy by running
her over in his car.
Ms McDonnell’s family said in a statement issued after the verdicts were
reached: “Our first thoughts are with Milly Dowler’s family.
“We hope that, even after all this time, this conviction brings them the same
small amount of closure as Bellfieldʼs conviction in 2008 brought to our
Sky’s crime correspondent Martin Brunt
“While we commend Surrey Police for the work performed in bringing about
today’s conviction, we cannot with clear conscience do so without calling upon
the relevant authority to instigate a very precise review of all that went on in
that initial investigation by the Surrey force into Milly’s disappearance and
Bellfield’s lawyer Jeffrey Samuels QC said those attacks were quite different
from Milly’s murder and the prosecution was using them to mask the lack of
evidence in the latest trial.
He said: “A crime that shocked the nation remaining unsolved represents an
uncomfortable position, so you may think that prosecuting this defendant who has
little to lose presents them with an opportunity which gives them everything to
He said the police were no nearer solving the mystery of Milly’s murder than
they had been in 2002.
The jurors disagreed. They have been sent home as they continue to deliberate
a verdict on the third charge against Bellfield, the attempted abduction of
Bellfield showed no reaction to the first two verdicts and did not return to
court after they were delivered.
The judge said: “He does not want take any further part in proceedings.”
Levi Bellfield was born on May 17th, 1968 according to http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article3397051.ece
May 17th, 1968
5 + 17 +2+0+1+1 = 26 = his personal year (from May 17th, 2011 to May 16th, 2012) = In the news.
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