A report on the ongoing trial at the Old Bailey of Levi Bellfield for the murder of thirteen year old Amanda Dowler in March 2002
The trial of Levi Bellfield for the attempted kidnap of schoolgirl Rachel Cowles and the murder of thirteen year old Amanda (Millie) Dowler continued today in Court 8 at the Central Criminal Court as Millie’s father was cross-examined by Jeffrey Samuels QC, who asked if Mr Dowler had been a suspect in the disappearance of his daughter, to which Bob Dowler replied "That is correct."
A number of his daughter’s writings were also adduced in evidence which could paint the picture of her being a troubled child, and a potentially embarrassing matter; Millie was said to have found some pornographic magazines in the house, which it was suggested caused a rift between father and daughter.
Although Jeffrey Samuels stopped short of claiming Mr Dowler had murdered his daughter as in the trial of Mark Dixie where the boyfriend who had been the initial prime suspect in the murder of Sally Anne Bowman was directly accused under cross-examination, he did his best to plant seeds of doubt, but clearly he has an uphill job in defending a man who has already been convicted of murdering two young women and nearly killing a third.
Most British juries will be savvy enough to realise that in any murder investigation, family, friends and neighbours are always suspects, sometimes prime suspects; the police may have literally dozens or even hundreds of lines of inquiry in such a case including false confessions; these suspects or potential suspects all have to be eliminated in due course, as clearly was the victim’s father.
Although Jeffrey Samuels has an unpleasant job, he is obligated to act under instructions, however repulsive those instructions may be. The case will continue tomorrow when Mrs Dowler, the victim’s mother, takes the stand.
Additional reporting on day five of this trial by someone who was present in the courtroom can be found on this page, at the bottom of the report on day six.