Levi Bellfield: Outrage as Milly Dowler murderer to marry girlfriend he met through Peter Sutcliffe in prison
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Milly Dowler’s murderer Levi Bellfield will be allowed to marry his girlfriend - who he met through former inmate and prolific murderer Peter Sutcliffe. The 55-year-old, who is currently serving two whole-life orders for murdering three women and attempting to kill another, received £30,000 in legal aid to fund his case.
Bellfield is currently incarcerated at Durham’s Frankland Prison and threatened a human rights case if he was not allowed to marry. |The serial killer was found guilty for the murders of Milly Dowler in 2002, Marsha McDonnell in 2003 and Amelie Delagrange in 2004, as well as the attempted murder of Kate Sheedy in the same year.
However, lawyers for the convicted murderer argued that the European Convention on Human Rights and the 1983 Marriage Act gave Bellfield the right to marry. Bellfield has also been reportedly demanding video calls with his bride-to-be and the ability to have his picture taken with her.
It is thought the pair met through Peter Sutcliffe, who was friends with the woman before he died in 2020. Bellfield and Sutcliffe were on the same wing in HMP Frankland when Bellfield asked to be put in touch with her after seeing her picture in Sutcliffe’s cell, according to reports.
At first they spoke on the phone, before she then began visiting Bellfield at the County Durham prison. Previously, his new fiancee told The Mirror: “He is not a monster. Yes he has a bad past, but 17 years in prison changes a person.
“He has changed, he has remorse, and there are always reasons a person goes wrong in life.
“There is always a far bigger picture. He is 53 years old, still young and has to live knowing he will just grow old and die in that horrendous place.”
However, police officers and MPs have said the case was ‘grotesque’ and an ‘insult to the victims and their families’.
Conservative MP Alec Shelbrooke said: “This is a disgusting insult to the victims and their families.
“This is a man who took away the human rights of young girls and women, including the right to live their lives and marry.”
David Spencer, research director at the Centre for Crime Prevention, said it was ‘horrific’ that Bellfield would be allowed to marry and that the taxpayer funding the case was ‘even more grotesque’.
“Criminals of his type have forfeited their rights and if the law currently permits him to be married then that should be changed.
“His time behind bars should be spent reflecting on his horrific crimes, not enjoying home comforts.”
Ministers have vowed to ban the practice of prisoners marrying, as around 60 prisoners, many of them serving long jail terms, applied to marry last year. Meanwhile former Justice Secretary Dominic Raab introduced a Victims Bill in March, banning those on whole-life tariffs from marrying while incarcerated.
A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said:”The application is being considered in the usual way. In future, our new Victims and Prisoners Bill will stop prisoners serving whole-life orders from marrying or forming a civil partnership in prison.”