Milly prosecution case 'fantasy'

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The Independent Online

The prosecution case that double killer Levi Bellfield abducted and killed schoolgirl Milly Dowler is "pure fantasy", the Old Bailey was told today.

Jeffrey Samuels QC, for Bellfield, said evidence had been made to fit against Bellfield following his arrest and conviction for two other murders.

Mr Samuels said virtually all the evidence before the jury was available before, but Bellfield had not been prosecuted.

He was now being paraded in front of the jury as "the local serial killer".

"But for his convictions, he would not be here," said Mr Samuels.

"There has been an undue reliance on these convictions. There has been an artificial attempt to suggest similarities.

"The sad truth is that the police are no nearer to solving her disappearance now than in 2002."

Bellfield, who now had "nothing to lose", presented them with an opportunity after police were left in an "uncomfortable position".

For the prosecution theory to succeed, Milly, 13, would have had to have been persuaded to cross the road by a stranger and against everything she had been taught.

"Pure fantasy," said Mr Samuels.

Milly vanished on March 21 2002 in Station Avenue, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, as she was walking home from school.

The prosecution alleges that Bellfield, who was living in a flat there, abducted and killed her before dumping her body 25 miles away.

Bellfield, 43, denies abducting and murdering Milly, and attempting to kidnap 11-year-old Rachel Cowles the day before.

The former wheelclamper and bouncer was arrested in 2004 and convicted in 2008 of the murders of Marsha McDonnell, 19, in 2003 and Amelie Delagrange, 22, and the attempted murder of Kate Sheedy, 18, in 2004.

The judge, Mr Justice Wilkie, began his summing up by telling the jury that it must reach verdicts "coolly and dispassionately".

He said the 11 jurors, four women and seven men, were expected to retire on Wednesday morning.

The trial was adjourned to tomorrow.