Bellfield ‘may have murdered Russells’

Levi Bellfield may be responsible for two other murders for which another man has been jailed, a lawyer has claimed.

Michael Stone, who has always maintained his innocence, is serving life for the murders of mother and daughter Lin and Megan Russell, who were tied up and bludgeoned to death in Chillenden, Kent, in 1996.

Stone’s solicitor Paul Bacon said Bellfield should be considered as a suspect, adding that he wanted police to find and re-examine a bloodied shoelace for forensic links to Bellfield.

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He also compared an e-fit, issued by police after the Chillenden murders, with pictures of Stone and Bellfield, claiming Bellfield was a much closer match.

Mr Bacon said: “We have got pictures of Levi Bellfield at 28 and at 33 and at 39 and he hasn’t changed much at all in actual fact. There is also the suggestion – from what others have said – that he used to bleach his hair and we strongly believe that he worked in that area where the Russell family were killed.

“Actually, what we want to do is to get the police to reinvestigate this. The police do need to say ‘If we got it wrong, we got it wrong’.”

He added: “There is no evidence other than the alleged confession from Michael Stone.”

Stone was originally found guilty in 1998 of killing Dr Russell, 45, and her daughter Megan, six, and the attempted murder of Megan’s sister, Josie.

Those convictions were quashed in February 2001 by three appeal judges and a retrial was ordered.

In October 2001, Stone was again convicted after a trial at Nottingham Crown Court, and his three life sentences were re-imposed.

Stone appealed again against his convictions in 2005, claiming he did not receive a fair trial and was framed by another prisoner, but his challenge was rejected. The Criminal Cases Review Commission turned down his third appeal against the convictions last year.