Convicted killer Levi Bellfield has confessed to the murders of Lin and Megan Russell, according to a lawyer who has previously claimed that a shoelace found at the scene could provide crucial DNA evidence.
Bellfield, 53, will never be considered for parole, having not only been convicted of murdering 13-year-old Milly Dowler in 2002, but also Marsha McDonnell and Amelie Delagrange.
He was also convicted of the attempted murder of Kate Sheedy, who was run over by Bellfield but survived.
A man named Michael Stone has twice been found guilty of the murders of Lin Russel and her six-year-old daughter Megan, who were attacked as they walked along a country lane in Chillenden, east Kent, before being bound, blindfolded and bludgeoned with a claw hammer.
However, Stone's solicitor now says he has received a four-page written statement from Bellfield, in which he confesses to the killings.
Stone, who was also found guilty of the attempted murder of Megan’s sister Josie – aged nine at the time of the attack – has always protested his innocence.
He was first found guilty of two counts or murder and one of attempted murder in 1998 – and again in 2001, after the Court of Appeal revoked his conviction due to doubts over a prosecution witness.
In 2010, an application to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) was rejected, while an attempt to seek a judicial review of the decision in 2011 also failed.
According to Stone’s lawyer, Paul Bacon, Bellfield’s statement was made last month and details how he allegedly carried out the murders.
The statement says: “I was wearing bright yellow marigold washing up gloves and holding a hammer in my right hand.
“In my car I had a screwdriver, a lock knife, a hammer, yellow marigold gloves and a very long black bootlace.
“My first intention was to just attack Lin, but I quickly changed my mind due to the screams and was worried she would fight back given the children were with her.
“I approached Lin and held her right arm tight.
“She asked me not to harm her children. She was calm.
“Had she screamed I would have attacked her and left not harming the children.
“The situation just got out of control and the more she complied it just gave me more confidence.
“I walked all three of them off the track. I forced Lin to sit down.”
In the statement, Bellfield also claims he killed the family dog as well, adding: “I grabbed the dog by the collar and it bit my wrist. I hit the dog and killed it."
Last year, Bacon said a shoelace found at the murder scene – which was missing until it was found in police storage in 2020 – could provide DNA evidence.
He has now said he would forward Bellfield’s statement to police and to the CCRC.
For over 21 years I have represented Michael Stone who was wrongly convicted of the chillenden murders.— Mark McDonald 😷 (@MarkStokeSouth) February 5, 2022
Tomorrow it will be announced that Levi Belfield has made a full written confession to the crimes.
Michael Stone is innocent and must be immediately released from prison.
A CCRC spokesperson said: “Mr Stone’s current application to the CCRC is being reviewed and we remain in regular contact with his legal representatives. We are aware they are planning to send in further information, and when received, we will thoroughly analyse it and make any appropriate enquiries. We will not be commenting further at this stage.”
Chief Superintendent Paul Fotheringham, of Kent Police, said: "Following two trials at which Stone was found guilty by a jury on both occasions, and an appeal to the High Court, Michael Stone remains convicted of the murders of Lin and Megan Russell, and the attempted murder of Josie Russell in 1996.
"Michael Stone made an application to apply for a Judicial Review in respect of his conviction in September 2012. The Honourable Mr Justice Blake ordered that permission for the application should be refused.
"The Criminal Case Review Commission commenced an extensive re-examination of the murder investigation in 2017 and has had access to all forensic evidence, documentation and exhibits from the original investigation, the review by Hampshire Police, details of the two crown court trials and appeals to the High Court.
"The shoelace which was seized as part of the original investigation was made available to the CCRC. All evidence from the examinations on the shoelace were recorded and disclosed to the CCRC."
Featured Image Credit: Police handout
Topics: UK News