Girl, 11, turned down lift from killer Levi Bellfield

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The Independent Online

A student told a court how she was left scared and crying after a man said to be convicted killer Levi Bellfield offered her a lift in his car.

Rachel Cowles was 11 when she was walking home from school and the red car pulled up beside her in March 2002. The prosecution at the Old Bailey alleges that Bellfield drove off when he saw a police car and went on to murder Milly Dowler, 13, the next day.

Bellfield, 42, denies abducting and murdering Milly and attempting to kidnap Rachel.

Miss Cowles, now 21, recalled that she went home after the incident in Upper Halliford Road, Shepperton, Surrey, and her mother rang the police.

She told the court she had been walking along on her own when a red car pulled up beside her with its window open. The engine was running and the driver had leaned over to speak to her. She said: "I saw him from the side and then he turned his face round to me. I remember him saying 'Hello. I have just moved in next door. Would you like a lift home?' I said 'No thank you. It's all right'." The trial was adjourned until Monday.

Rachel Cowles, pictured, arrives with her mother Diana at the Old Bailey in London, where she gave evidence in the murder trial of Levi Bellfield PRESS ASSOCIATION, who is accused of the murder of Milly Dowler.