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Kent Police dismisses calls for serial killer Levi Bellfield to be investigated over Chillenden Murders after alibi collapses

Police have dismissed renewed calls to investigate serial killer Levi Bellfield for the brutal Chillenden Murders - despite him appearing to tear apart his own alibi.

The triple murderer has admitted in a statement to being in the area on the day mum and daughter Lin and Megan Russell were bludgeoned to death in July 1996 - despite previous claims he was celebrating his girlfriend's birthday at the time.

Levi Bellfield Picture: Metropolitan Police
Levi Bellfield Picture: Metropolitan Police

Gillingham heroin addict Michael Stone is currently serving time in prison after having been twice convicted of the murders - although doubts have been cast over his guilt several times over the years.

His lawyers have now called for Bellfield to be investigated as the potential killer, "given that he's now retracted completely his alibi".

But detectives say Bellfield's statement has "not provided information that changes the position of Kent Police".

Bellfield - now a Muslim convert going by Yusuf Rahim and serving two whole-life terms at Durham's HMP Frankland - released his statement in an attempt to absolve himself of the Russell murders.

But in the 15-page document sent to his lawyer and passed on to the Criminal Cases Review Commission, he admits to being in the Chillenden area on the day the mum and daughter were killed.

Undated file picture of Lin Russell and her six-year-old daughter Megan Supplied by Kent Police Press Office
Undated file picture of Lin Russell and her six-year-old daughter Megan Supplied by Kent Police Press Office

The 53-year-old also reveals he drove a car similar to the one seen near the scene and that he flew back from holiday to have it destroyed in the days after the crime, The Sun reports.

The statement goes on to detail how he twice visited Cherry Garden Lane, where Lin, six-year-old Megan and dog Lucy were beaten to death in a frenzied 15-minute attack, and how he was going out with a woman whose dad ran a pub in the village.

He writes: “I wish to set the record straight. It is my hope that by making this statement a line can be drawn under my suspicion of committing the 1996 Chillenden crimes.”

Bellfield previously claimed he was celebrating the birthday of then-girlfriend Johanna Collings at the time of the Chillenden murders.

In the statement he says he went to her house early that day before going on a long-distance taxi call to Dover - 11 miles from Chillenden - in his beige Ford Sierra Sapphire.

Michael Stone Picture: SWNS
Michael Stone Picture: SWNS

He was away from his Middlesex home between 9.30am and 9.30pm - the Russell's were murdered at 4pm.

He said his job was done by 1pm but adds he "often spends time driving round areas for hours". The statement then skips several hours before he arrives home at about 9.30pm, having stopped at Clacket Lane services on the M25 to throw away rubbish and get fuel.

Days later he went on holiday to Turkey, leaving the car – which was similar to the one seen being driven erratically near the scene by witnesses – at a nightclub, but "paranoia" got the better of him and three days later he returned to have it crushed at a Brentford scrap yard.

Earlier in his statement he explained how he had dated a woman whose dad ran a pub in Chillenden, and visited Cherry Garden Lane after a pub lunch and again a year later after some business in Deal.

In 2008 Bellfield was convicted of murdering Amélie Delagrange, 22, and Marsha McDonnell, 19, and the attempted murder of 18-year-old Kate Sheedy. Three years later he was found guilty of the 2002 murder of 13-year-old Milly Dowler.

He has suffered from mental health issues in prison and has previously said he had no links to Kent before 2002.

He addresses the coincidences in the statement and says he is speaking out as they would eventually resurface.

Stone's lawyers today revealed they have written to chief constable of Kent Police, Alan Pughsley, calling on Bellfield to be investigated over the murders.

Levi Bellfield is serving two whole-life terms
Levi Bellfield is serving two whole-life terms

Barrister Mark McDonald said: "We have written to the chief constable of Kent and asked whether or not he is now going to conduct an investigation into Levi Bellfield, given that he's now retracted completely his alibi."

But Kent Police say its position regarding Stone's conviction remains unchanged.

The force’s head of major crime, Detective Superintendent Paul Fotheringham, said: "Following two trials and an unsuccessful appeal to the High Court, Michael Stone remains convicted of the murders of Lin and Megan Russell and the attempted murder of Josie Russell.

"Furthermore, a comprehensive investigation was carried out by the Metropolitan Police Service into allegations concerning Levi Bellfield and it concluded that there is no evidence to support those claims.

"Since Stone’s conviction, there have been allegations and statements that have been set against what has already been disclosed and they have not provided information that changes the position of Kent Police in relation to Stone’s conviction."

The former detective who headed up the team that caught Bellfield for his three murders has said the killer's statement was "surprising".

Colin Sutton said: “I’m surprised he’s torn down his alibi.

“The Criminal Cases Review Commission will look at this. They have good investigators. But knowing Bellfield as I do, this could be him playing mind games.”

In May a key clue in the Chillenden investigation was found after 14 years, which Bellfield was said to be concerned about.

Lin, 45, daughters Megan and Josie, and dog Lucy were attacked as they walked home. Josie, then nine, miraculously survived.

To read more of our in depth coverage of all of the major trials coming out of crown and magistrates' courts across the county, click here.

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