Boris Johnson ‘sickened and appalled’ by serial killer Levi Bellfield’s request to get married behind bars – as prisons minister orders immediate review
- PM Boris Johnson ‘sickened’ by serial killer’s request to have a prison wedding
- Levi Bellfield proposed to female visitor at HMP Frankland in County Durham
- 53-year-old needs permission of prison governor to marry at the men’s prison
- Bellfield is serving two whole life orders for the murder of at least three people
Boris Johnson has been left ‘sickened and appalled’ by Levi Bellfield’s request to have a prison wedding.
The serial killer applied for permission to marry a woman after he got down on one knee and proposed to a female visitor in front of shocked prison wardens at HMP Frankland in County Durham.
News of his upcoming nuptials have prompted an outcry from PM Mr Johnson, senior politicians and campaigners – as Prisons Minister Victoria Atkins today vowed to do ‘everything in her power’ to prevent Bellfield tying the knot behind bars.
Downing Street confirmed they are looking into the working of the Human Rights Act, which says Bellfield has a right under article 12 to have his application for a wedding considered.
A spokesman for the PM said: ‘Like the rest of the country the Prime Minister is sickened and appalled by this and his thoughts are with the families and loved ones of his victims. They are at the forefront of his mind following this difficult and no doubt distressing news.
‘Victoria Atkins made clear this morning it was something she would be looking at. As you might know, currently it is a decision made by prison governors rather than ministers.’
Bellfield, 53, is currently serving a life sentence for the murder of 13-year-old schoolgirl Milly Dowler.
He was also convicted of murdering Marsha McDonnell, 19, Amélie Delagrange, 22, and the attempted murder of Kate Sheedy, and will never be considered for parole.
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
Boris Johnson has been left ‘sickened and appalled’ by Levi Bellfield’s request to have a prison wedding, it has emerged
Dowler was snatched from the street while on her way from school to her home in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, in March 2002
Marsha McDonnell, 19, was had been to the cinema with friends and was on a late night bus when she was attacked with a hammer
Amelie Delagrange, 22, whose body was found, with a serious head injury lying on Twickenham Green, south west London
Asked if the Government could take action to block such weddings that are permitted under the Human Rights Act, No 10 added: ‘Certainly what we want to do with the Bill of Rights is introduce common sense and address inflations of rights which clearly fly in the face of that.
‘The PM is disgusted by some of the reporting we have seen today. I can’t as it stands be definitive on that particular position but certainly the sort of abuses that we have seen of the HRA are exactly what this is designed to address.’
It comes as prisons minister Victoria Atkins branded the proposed nuptials ‘absolutely appalling’.
She said: ‘This man is an evil, evil monster who has left a trail of despair and grief in his wake.’
On his request to get married in prison, she told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: ‘My heart goes out to the families because, yet again, this appalling human being is on the front pages (of newspapers) and they’re having to think about him.’
Bellfield was already serving a whole life term for the murder of Ms McDonnell and Ms Delagrange and attempting to murder Ms Sheedy, 18, in 2004, when he went on trial for killing Milly
Ms Atkins has ordered an urgent review into the workings of the Human Rights Act to see if the government can stop the wedding from going ahead.
She added: ‘I’m appalled that someone like this can make an application to get married – we’re looking into it very carefully. Watch this space please.’
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.’
Mr Buckland said people would be ‘rightly shocked’ to hear he has become engaged, with director of the Centre for Crime Prevention, David Spencer, calling the marriage an ‘insult’ to his victim’s families.
It is understood that the woman began corresponding with Bellfield after he wrote to her two years ago. She now visits him weekly, the newspaper reported.
A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: ‘An application has been received and is being considered in the usual way.’
He is engaged to a female visitor and got down on one knee to propose in front of prison staff at HMP Frankland (pictured)
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.
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