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article imageUK: Bellfield trial resumes Special

By Alexander Baron     Jun 6, 2011 in Crime
London - A report on the resumption of the trial of Levi Bellfield for the murder of Amanda Dowler and the attempted kidnapping of Rachel Cowles.
The trial of Levi Bellfield resumed at the Central Criminal Court today after an adjournment of a full week. The former night club bouncer and wheel-clamper is accused of the March 20, 2002 attempted kidnap of schoolgirl Rachel Cowles, and the kidnap and murder of Amanda Jane Dowler the following day.
Today, the jury heard from Malcolm Ward, who was twenty years old at the time Amanda disappeared. He said he had helped Bellfield to remove a mattress from the Collingwood Place apartment the following day, and that Bellfield was “quieter than normal” at the time. Bellfield had previously lived literally yards from where the victim had last been seen alive.
Mr Ward testified that he’d worked with Bellfield at a club in Uxbridge, and had been asked to help decorate the kitchen of a property at Little Benty, West Drayton, where he was moving.
The court also heard from Johanna Collings, who had been Bellfield’s lover before Emma Mills, who testified last month. Miss Collings said she and Bellfield had been together for three or four years and that they had previously lived together at Strawberry Hill, Twickenham.
Most significantly for the jury, she said he knew the woods where Amanda’s body was found. She and Bellfield went there while he was training her whippet puppies, and he had also accompanied her when she took part in show-jumping events at nearby Yateley: “I drove the horse down and he would follow in a car. He didn't blend in.”
Matthew Rudge, who made a documentary about Bellfield’s daughters, was in court today, and said Miss Collings gave “a very solid performance under cross examination by Samuels who was attempting to make her out as a liar who wanted to be in the limelight.”
Jeffrey Samuels QC has a very unpleasant task defending a man who has already been convicted of murdering two young women; his strategy, which may succeed, has been largely to avoid attacks on the integrity of witnesses. As Miss Cowles failed to identify Bellfield, it is not unlikely the jury will conclude he was not the man who tried to lure her into his car, and as the body of Amanda Dowler was too decomposed to allow the cause of death to be determined, it is not beyond the bounds of credibility that no foul play was involved. “Tot Mum” Casey Anthony is in an entirely different position, and unlike Bellfield, she is facing a possible death sentence.
Whatever the outcome of the former trial, interest will continue in Levi Bellfield on account of other crimes he may have committed. It is also quite likely that Matthew Rudge will make another film related to him in some way. He said he plans to attend the trial as often as possible, and is currently devolping a contact.
The trial will continue in Court 8 tomorrow.
More about Levi Bellfield, Amanda Jane Dowler, Milly, Rachel Cowles, Murder
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