England

Levi Bellfield: Police find 'no link' to other crimes

Levi Bellfield Image copyright PA
Image caption Levi Bellfield, who now calls himself Yusuf Rahim, will never be released from prison

An investigation into allegations surrounding more crimes that may have been committed by the killer of Milly Dowler has been closed.

Levi Bellfield, now known as Yusuf Rahim, murdered 13-year-old Milly, 19-year-old Marsha McDonnell and Amelie Delagrange, 22, between 2002 and 2004.

The Met police had been co-ordinating an inquiry across 10 forces after receiving information in early 2015.

The serial killer had been told of the decision, a police spokesman said.

In a statement, the force said: "All lines of inquiry have now been exhausted and the decision has been taken to close this investigation as there is no evidence to link the individual to any case for which he has not already been convicted."

'Cruel and pitiless'

Milly Dowler was kidnapped while on her way from school to her home in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, in March 2002.

Nine years later, Bellfield was found guilty of abducting and murdering the teenager and given a whole-life prison sentence following an Old Bailey trial, in which the judge described him as a "cruel and pitiless killer".

He was already in jail for the murders of Amelie Delagrange and Marsha McDonnell, and the attempted murder of Kate Sheedy, 18, when he went on trial accused of killing Milly.

Image copyright bbc

Bellfield lived 50 yards from where Milly vanished but did not become a suspect until he was arrested by police in London for the other crimes in 2004.

At the time of his conviction, detectives said they believed he was behind 20 other attacks on women - none of which had been solved.

These included Judith Gold, who was hit over the head in Hampstead, north London, in 1990, and Bellfield's school friend Patsy Morris, who was strangled on Hounslow Heath, west London, in 1980.

On Wednesday, a Met spokesman said police had "remained in close liaison with a number of families" throughout the inquiry and had told them of the outcome.

"This has understandably been a very difficult time for them and we would ask that the privacy of individuals is respected," he added.

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