Friday 13 December 2019

'Cruel and wicked' Levi Bellfield 'denies confessing to abducting and killing Milly Dowler'

Murdered British schoolgirl Milly Dowler. Photo: Surrey Police/PA Wire
Murdered British schoolgirl Milly Dowler. Photo: Surrey Police/PA Wire

Dominic Harris and Aine Fox

Murderer Levi Bellfield has reportedly denied that he confessed to abducting and killing schoolgirl Milly Dowler.

The 47-year-old, who is serving a whole-life sentence after being convicted in 2011 of murdering the teenager, is understood to have claimed that he never admitted killing her.

Bellfield's solicitor Julie Cooper has contacted Surrey Police to suggest that "covert" recordings were made during a prison interview and has demanded access to the tape recording and notes from the meeting, the Daily Telegraph said.

But Colin Sutton, the former Scotland Yard detective whose investigation into the murders of three other young women put Bellfield in prison, said the killer's claims were "breathtaking"

He told the Press Association: "I am almost lost for words on this. He has been toying around with the police and also the victims' families, particularly the Dowlers.

Read more: Milly Dowler's final 14 hours revealed: Levi Bellfield raped and tortured teen before finally strangling her

Undated handout photos of Levi Bellfield and Milly Dowler. Photo: PA/PA Wire
Undated handout photos of Levi Bellfield and Milly Dowler. Photo: PA/PA Wire

"It is even beyond the cruel, wicked games that I know he was capable of. This is almost beyond what I thought even he was capable of."

According to the Telegraph Ms Cooper wrote: "We request the tape recording of the alleged confession; the attendance notes relating to the alleged confession; the circumstances surrounding the alleged confession and we would be grateful if you would confirm or deny whether a covert tape was being used during the course of the interview with Mr Rahim and we look forward to your early response."

Milly was snatched from the street while on her way from school to her home in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, in March 2002. Bellfield was found guilty of abducting and killing her following a trial at the Old Bailey.

Earlier this week her family released a statement in which they outlined the harrowing details of Milly's last hours and what Bellfield admitted doing to her.

The serial killer told Surrey Police how he repeatedly raped and tortured her in the 14 hours between her abduction and murder.

Mr Sutton said he struggled to believe that there would not be an "unassailable record" of Bellfield's confession.

He said: "I would be astounded if Surrey Police did not have some sort of proper, decent, thorough corroboration of his claims, because when you are dealing with somebody like him you would not go public with it unless you had that.

Read more: 'Cruel and pitless' serial killer Levi Bellfield admits to abducting, raping and killing schoolgirl Milly Dowler for first time

"Given the high profile nature of this case and who he is I would be absolutely astounded if there isn't some sort of unassailable record of these confessions."

Mr Sutton said he would expect a confession on tape - with or without Bellfield's knowledge of it being recorded - or a written note of a confession which Bellfield would have signed at the time, which the retired officer said he "doubted" the killer would do.

He said: "Unless you have that kind of standard of corroboration of his admissions I think it would be a highly questionable decision to go public with it in the way they have over the last few weeks."

Mr Sutton said that Bellfield's retraction of his confession was "yet another (example of) the ever-growing and expanding catalogue of Levi Bellfield's cruelty on the Dowler family."

He added: "But of course he's got nothing else to do in some ways. He's in prison forever, he may as well just make mischief, and certainly he's capable of making the most wicked kind of mischief and that could be what he's doing.

"It could well be that he's just playing games. But it could backfire on him because he could be doing it under the impression that Surrey can't prove that he did say it when in fact they can. In some ways I hope that's the case, because it would certainly be the best outcome for Surrey Police."

Surrey Police were unavailable for comment.

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