Milly Dowler trial begins

The trial of Levi Bellfield, the man accused of killing schoolgirl Amanda Dowler, has begun at The Old Bailey.

Milly Dowler before she went missing 9 years ago.
Family photo of Milly Dowler, age 13, before she went missing.

Milly, 13, disappeared after walking home from school nine years ago. Her body was found in woodland 6 months later. A cause of death was never established, due to the state of the body on discovery. On March 21st 2002, Milly left school and went to a cafe at Walton-on-Thames train station with her friends. She was later seen walking across the road by a schoolfriend, who said she was on her own.

Milly’s parents raised the alarm three hours later, after their daughter failed to return home. This sparked one of the biggest missing person investigations ever in Britain.

Jurors today revealed that CCTV showed Bellfield sat in his car near where Milly went missing, very close to Bellfields home. Bellfield denies her kidnap and murder.

Bellfield was convicted of the murder of Marsha McDonnell, 19, and Amelie Delagrange, 22, in 2008. He also attempted to murder Kate Sheedy, 18, and denies further charges of the kidnap of 11 year old Rachel Cowles in 2002.

It is Bellfield’s past that has made him prime suspect in this case. He has a history of abducting vulnerable and lone young females who were strangers to him, and carries out his crimes fast. He then makes himself uncontactable. After Milly’s abduction, Bellfield got rid of his car in such a way that a large police inquiry has failed to find it.

As well as getting rid of his car, Bellfield moved out of his apartment the weekend after the disappearance. His partner claims after her disappearance Bellfield came home in different clothes, and threw away a mattress and duvet from the house, claiming their pet dog had had an accident. His partner stated she didn’t believe him, as their dog is well trained. He also turned off his phone, as he had done in previous murders, allegedly to stop forensics from being able to detect his location.

The prosecution claim that all the above points show Bellfield’s guilt, and are backed up by CCTV evidence which shows Milly disappeared from ‘practically on Bellfield’s doorstep’. They state that the lack of evidence points to an experienced, skilled and artificed offender, and that a kidnapping in broad daylight required confidence.

They finished by asking, “How likely is it that there were 2 such men capable of committing murder, disposed to behave in the same way, at the same place, at the same time?”

The trial continues.