Levi Bellfield 'joked about Milly'

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The alleged killer of Milly Dowler "joked" about her disappearance a week after the schoolgirl went missing, a court heard today.

Levi Bellfield's former partner Emma Mills said that when she asked what he had been doing that day, he said: "What, do you think I've done Milly?"

Miss Mills earlier told the Old Bailey that Bellfield had "disappeared" on the day Milly went missing, and she could not get through to his phone.

She was asked by prosecutor Brian Altman QC if they had ever talked about the 13-year-old, who went missing after leaving Walton-on-Thames station in Surrey.

Miss Mills, 33, said: "Yes we did, because it was so local, as anyone would."

She said they spoke about it a week later when she was decorating.

"I was asking him again about the Thursday he'd gone off, because I thought he was with another woman. I was just painting.

"He said 'Oh, why do you keep going on? What, do you think I've done Milly? I didn't ask him. It's just so awful," said Miss Mills.

"I was so used to him making horrible remarks and jokes about things. I just thought, it's disgusting, not even funny."

Mr Altman said: "Had you said anything to provoke such a remark?"

She replied: "No I was just asking him what he was doing on the Thursday."

Bellfield, 43, denies abducting and murdering Milly and attempting to kidnap 11-year-old Rachel Cowles in March 2002.

Milly disappeared "in the blink of an eye" after leaving Walton-on-Thames station to walk home.

The prosecution claims Bellfield was living yards away and murdered Milly in his flat before dumping the body. Six months later, her remains were found in woods 25 miles away.

Bellfield, a former wheelclamper and bouncer, was convicted in 2008 of the murders of Marsha McDonnell, 19, and Amelie Delagrange, 22, and the attempted murder of Kate Sheedy, 18.

It is alleged that Bellfield took Milly into the flat and murdered her, returning in the early hours to dispose of the body and clean up.

On the day Milly vanished, Miss Mills, Bellfield and their two children were staying at a friend's house in west London.

Miss Mills said she had been ringing Bellfield all day but he had his mobile phone switched off.

Miss Mills said: "He disappeared. His mobile was off. I was trying to get in touch with him because I didn't have any money and I needed to get some bits from the shop. Normally he would ring me or I would ring him, on and off during the day, to see what I was doing.

"He didn't ring me at all until later on. I didn't see him past lunchtime."

She said it was unusual for her not to be in contact with Bellfield who was not working during the day at the time.

She had a 40-second conversation with him at 5.38pm and a longer call later that evening, she added.

"I don't remember the actual conversation but I know how it probably went with me asking where he was all that time and when he was coming back," she said.

Miss Mills said Bellfield, who she had met when she was 18, returned to the friend's house between 10 or 11 that evening.

She said: "He was wearing different clothes from those he had on in the morning. They would have been from the flat in Walton.

"I think he got a takeaway and some lagers. He had had a drink but he was not drunk."

Asked if she had questioned him, Miss Mills answered: "I did but I would never get a straight answer - and even if he did tell me something I would never know if it was the truth."

They went to bed but she awoke to find him getting dressed. "It was around three or four in the morning and he said he was going back to the flat to have a lie-in. He took the dog with him.

"He just walked out of the room. He said something along the lines of 'I will see you later'."

Bellfield had called Miss Mills later that morning to say he would pick her and the children up to return to Collingwood Place.

Miss Mills had left the family home in Little Benty, West Drayton, after the breakdown of her relationship with Bellfield the year before.

They had made up after a few months and had planned to return to their permanent home in a couple of months after it was refurbished.

Miss Mills said that after Bellfield picked them up, he had started pushing her to leave the flat in Walton straight away.

She said: "He said that he didn't want to be in the flat any more. We didn't have to wait for the lease to end. He didn't want to wait.

"I said, 'we can't live in there'. He said, 'oh, you don't want to come back', twisting it on me, pushing me into thinking it's a good idea, trying to get me to go back."

She finally agreed because she said it was sometimes easier to give in with Bellfield.

But when he dropped her off to pack in Collingwood Place, she noticed something unusual in the bedroom.

She said: "There were no sheets or pillow cases on the bed. No duvet cover.

"I rang him. He said the dog had had an accident on the bed. I didn't believe him for a second. I said, 'why would she do that, when did it happen?'.

"He said he put the sheets in the rubbish because they could not be washed."

Miss Mills said Bellfield's Staffordshire bull terrier, Shy, would "never" have soiled the bed.

She had looked in the bins outside the flat but could see nothing, she said.

They moved to Little Benty the next day, two days after Milly's disappearance.

They moved clothing and small items and the furniture was brought in a van later.

Tearful Miss Mills, wearing a black dress with a short grey jacket, gave evidence from behind a curtain shielding her from the defendant in the dock.

At one point, the court was adjourned after Miss Mills began crying after hearing Bellfield clear his throat twice.

The trial was adjourned to tomorrow.