Levi Bellfield: Prisons minister to consider serial killer’s ‘appalling’ marriage request | Prisons and probation
The Minister of Prisons has ordered an immediate review of serial killer Levi Bellfield’s application to marry in prison, describing the proposal as “absolutely appalling”.
Bellfield, who murdered Marsha McDonnell, Amelie Delagrange and Milly Dowler, is engaged and has filed for marriage in prison, the Justice Department has confirmed.
It is understood Bellfield’s application is being processed and he would need permission from the prison warden to marry at HMP Frankland in Durham.
Speaking to Sky News, Prisons Minister Victoria Atkins said the news called into question how the Human Rights Act worked, saying Bellfield had the right, under Section 12 , to have his marriage application examined.
Asked about the request, Atkins said: “I just want to reassure people, I understand that a request has been made that has not yet been decided, and he certainly hasn’t married yet, but, if you allow me, he currently has the right under section 12 of the Human Rights Act to marry…or they have the right to have the application considered by the prison wardens.
“[It’s] absolutely appalling. I ordered an immediate review on this.
“I very much welcome the debate we are about to have on the bill of rights and on human rights for the UK in the 21st century. Believe me, I will raise this.
News of the story, which first appeared in The Sun, said Bellfield had proposed to his fiancée in front of prison staff.
Speaking to the newspaper, former justice secretary Robert Buckland said: “Milly never got to see her wedding day. It can’t be right that he gets his own. People will just be title shocked to learn that a man capable of such depraved crimes and who is justly imprisoned is capable of forming such a relationship.
Bellfield was sentenced to life for the murder of 19-year-old McDonnell in 2003, and for the murder of 22-year-old Delagrange and the attempted murder of 18-year-old Kate Sheedy in 2004.
He was already serving that sentence when he stood trial for the murder of Milly, who was abducted on her way from school to her home in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, in March 2002.
Bellfield was found guilty of abducting and killing the 13-year-old after a trial at the Old Bailey in 2011.