In the Media

Levi Bellfield loses bid to challenge Milly Dowler conviction

PUBLISHED February 8, 2012

Application for permission to appeal against conviction for teenager's murder is rejected by three judges in London

The former bouncer Levi Bellfield has lost a bid to challenge his conviction for the kidnap and murder of Milly Dowler.

An application for permission to appeal by Bellfield, 43, was rejected by the lord chief justice, Lord Judge, Mr Justice Wyn Williams and Mr Justice Maddison, sitting at the court of appeal in London.

Bellfield was given a whole-life term in June 2011 after being found guilty of abducting and killing 13-year-old Milly following a trial at the Old Bailey.

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 already in jail for the murders of Amelie Delagrange and Marsha McDonnell, and the attempted murder of Kate Sheedy, when he went on trial last year in the Milly Dowler case.

In 2008, he had been given a whole-life term for murdering McDonnell, 19, in 2003, murdering Delagrange, 22, and attempting to murder Sheedy, 18, in 2004.

The single ground of appeal raised on Wednesday in a bid to show that Bellfield's conviction was "arguably unsafe" was a complaint about the trial judge's decision to allow evidence of those convictions to go before the jury.

It was argued by Jeffrey Samuels QC, for Bellfield, that the overall effect of its admission was to "distort" the focus of the evidence against the defendant in relation to the kidnap and murder of Milly.

But Lord Judge said the court had reached the "clear conclusion" that there was no basis for finding that the decision of the trial judge, Mr Justice Wilkie, had been wrong or was "even open to question".

Milly's body was found in a wood in Yateley Heath, Hampshire, 25 miles from Walton-on-Thames. Experts could not say how she died.

Bellfield lived 50 yards from where Milly vanished but did not become a suspect until he was arrested by police in London for the other crimes in 2004. © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds