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article imageLevi Bellfield trial – end of third week

By Alexander Baron     May 27, 2011 in Crime
London - A report on the conclusion of the third week of the trial of Levi Bellfield for the attempted kidnapping of one schoolgirl and the kidnap and murder of another.
The trial of Levi Bellfield continued at the same slow pace as the previous two weeks with evidence from Emma Mills and her mother, Gillian. Miss Mills met Bellfield when she was seventeen years old (eighteen in some reports). What is not in dispute is that she lived with him for several years, and probably knows him as well as or better than anyone else.
Earlier in the week, she related how she had tried to contact him the day Milly Dowler disappeared, but that unusually his phone was switched off. She said too that he had taken her red Daewoo Nexia car, and when she was asked to identify it she said the white object in the back was her son's first trainer.
This car has been at the centre of first the missing person and then the murder investigation after the disappearance of Milly Dowler on March 21, 2002. Bellfield admitted sometime ago he was driving it, but said it contained only building materials. In October 2009, acting on information received, police dragged a lake near Heathrow Airport, but to no avail.
An associate of Bellfield, Nirmal Gharu, was arrested twice in connection with disposing of the car but was not charged with any offence. Sunil Gharu testified at Bellfield’s previous trial, when the former wheel-clamper and doorman was convicted of murdering Amélie Delagrange and Marsha McDonnell.
In her testimony yesterday, Thursday, Miss Mills said Bellfield had joked about the disappearance of the Surrey schoolgirl: "What, do you think I've done Milly?" but said she didn’t take him seriously.
In her evidence today, Gillian Mills said she didn’t "like the look of ” Bellfield, describing him as “a big, fat lump with a high voice” adding he had no neck, and reminded her of Butch Dingle, a character from the soap opera Emmerdale.
Although this may be put down to the understandable concern of an over-protective mother, Mrs Mills added that her daughter’s character changed after she met Bellfield, and said she became besotted with him.
The jury has yet to hear from any of the police officers in the investigation, or any forensic evidence, but although the case against Bellfield is almost entirely circumstantial, it is beginning to look compelling. Even if the evidence can be explained away, it will be difficult if not impossible for the jury to dismiss as coincidence the fact that the convicted double murderer was living so close to where Milly Dowler disappeared, and his apparently strange behaviour at the time.
The trial will continue next week; a timeline for Levi Bellfield, his crimes and the events leading up to the current trial can be found here.
Late note: on May 31, I was informed by the Central Criminal Court that the trial will resume on June 6. No reason was given for the delay.
More about Levi Bellfield, Murder, Amanda Jane Dowler, Milly, Surrey Police
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