"You have reduced three families to unimagined grief.”
Mrs Justice Rafferty, BBC News Online, February 2008
Trial in connection with the murder of Amelie Delagrange
Levi Bellfield’s trial begins at The Old Bailey, London on Friday 12 October 2007 for the murders of Marsha McDonnell and Amelie Delagrange, the attempted murder of Irma Dragoshi & Kate Sheedy, and the attempted kidnap of Anna-Maria Rennie. He denies all counts.
Brian Altman prosecuting states that "these women were targeted victims of a predatory man who stalked bus stops and bus routes in vehicles looking for young women to attack." He calls on witness Sunil Gharu who was an associate of Bellfield. He had been in the car with Bellfield when he announced “watch this” and then proceeded to attack Irma Dragoshi. Despite this testimony Bellfield tries instead to frame Gharu for the attack.
The jury discover that six days after the murder of Amelie Delagrange, Bellfield breaks down in his bedroom, having taken an overdose of anti-depressants. He’s found by a friend. And it’s here that Bellfield announces “You don’t know what I have done”. He’s admitted to a mental hospital where he tells staff he’s feeling low and suicidal. However, he discharges himself the next day.
During the trial Bellfield repeatedly denies being present at the attacks. He claims his work as a wheel clamper gives him access to a variety of cars that other people within his team can also use. Brian Altman suggests to the jury that Bellfield is massaging evidence and providing fictitious accounts. Bellfield appeals to the jury that he’s the victim of mistaken identity.
Despite this on 25 February 2008, the jury find him guilty of the murders of Amelie Delagrange and Marsha McDonnell, and the attempted murder of Kate Sheedy. Bellfield shows his true cowardly colours when he chooses not to attend his sentencing. Bad publicity overnight is blamed for his non-appearance. He’s sentenced by Mrs Justice Rafferty to a whole life term.
Trial in connection with the murder of Milly Dowler
On 10 May 2011 the trial begins of the murder of Milly Dowler and the attempted abduction of Rachel Cowles, at the Old Bailey.
It emerges at the trial that Bellfield’s family weren’t at home on the day of Milly’s disappearance. And Emma Mills remembers that she was unable to get hold of Bellfield on his mobile phone which was highly unusual. She also recalls how he was wearing different clothes to the ones he had on in the morning. Despite saying that he was spending the night at the Collingwood address, when Mills went there the next day the bed had no sheets, duvet or pillow cases on. Bellfield tells her that the dog had fouled on the bedding, so he’d disposed of it. Emma knows this is something he would never do. He then mentions that he wants her to move back to West Drayton. She agrees and the next day, in great haste, he moves his family out of the Collingwood address, one day after the disappearance of Milly Dowler.
It’s also discovered in court that the red Daewoo Nexia that Bellfield had use of was seen leaving the area within 22 minutes of Milly’s disappearance. Sadly Milly’s remains found on Yateley Heath are so decomposed that it’s impossible to establish the cause of death.
In a cruel twist Bellfield tells Mr Justice Wilkie that he will not be giving evidence in his defence. It’s his attempt to put Bob and Sally Dowler on trial. Bellfield’s defence team drag up all the dirt they can find involving Bob Dowler and they reveal that he was even a suspect at one point. They also disclose a note written by Milly and go out of their way to prove she was an unhappy teenager who wanted to run away from her family. These accusations are deeply distressing to the family, and it’s left to the prosecution team to remind the jury that it’s not the Dowlers who are on trial.
On the 23 June 2011 Bellfield is found guilty and sentenced to another whole life sentence.