Levi Bellfield requests prison wedding after getting engaged behind bars
Milly Dowler's killer has made a formal application to the Ministry of Justice after becoming engaged to a female visitor
Serial killer Levi Bellfield is engaged and has requested a prison wedding, the Ministry of Justice has confirmed.
Bellfield has applied for permission to marry a woman while he is serving two whole life orders for murdering Marsha McDonnell, Amelie Delagrange and Milly Dowler.
Former Justice Secretary Robert Buckland told The Sun newspaper, which first reported the news, that the proposed prison nuptials “beggars belief”.
He added: “Milly never got to see her wedding day. It cannot be right that he gets to have his.”
The Sun said he is engaged to a female visitor and got down on one knee to propose in front of prison staff at HMP Frankland in County Durham.
A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “An application has been received and is being considered in the usual way.”
However, it is understood that Bellfield’s application is still being processed and is not at any further advanced stage.
The 53-year-old killer would need the permission of the prison governor to marry at the category A men’s prison.
Bellfield was given a whole life term for murdering Ms McDonnell, 19, in 2003, and murdering Ms Delagrange, 22, and attempting to murder Kate Sheedy, 18, in 2004.
He was already serving this sentence when he went on trial for killing schoolgirl Milly, who was snatched from the street walking 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 following a trial at the Old Bailey in 2011.
Prisons minister Victoria Atkins said she has ordered an immediate review into the request, branding the proposed nuptials “absolutely appalling”.
She claimed the news called into question the workings of the Human Rights Act, saying Bellfield currently has a right under Article 12 to have his application for a wedding considered.
Asked on Sky News about the request, Ms Atkins said: “Absolutely appalling. I’ve ordered an immediate review into this when it came to light last night.
“I just want to reassure people, I understand an application has been made that has not been decided yet and he most certainly has not yet married, but, if I may, he’s currently got the right under Article 12 of the Human Rights Act to get married … or they have the right to have the application to be considered by prison governors.
“I very much welcome the debate we’re about to have about the Bill of Rights and looking at human rights for the United Kingdom for the 21st century. Believe me, I’ll be raising this.”