Published: 08:30, 05 September 2021
| Updated: 11:06, 05 September 2021
Serial killer Levi Bellfield has torn apart his own alibi for the brutal Chillenden murders of Lin and Megan Russell.
In an attempt to absolve himself the triple murderer, now a Muslim convert going by Yusuf Rahim and serving two whole-life terms at Durham's HMP Frankland, has admitted being in the area on the day the mum and daughter were bludgeoned to death in July 1996.
In a 15-page statement sent to his lawyer and passed on the Criminal Cases Review Commission 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 near Deal.
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.”
Gillingham heroin addict Michael Stone is serving time for the murders having twice been convicted but doubt has been cast over his guilt on several occasions over the years.
But Bellfield says in his statement he is not speaking out due to any "loyalty" to Stone and claims he has never met him.
He 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.
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 around 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.
The former detective who headed up the team that caught Bellfield for his three murders said the 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.
Josie, now 34 and dad Shaun, 70, now live in Wales and were informed about The Sun on Sunday's story before publication.