Murdered Milly's parents welcome charges

THE parents of Milly Dowler have said they hope charging Levi Bellfield with their daughter's murder will "go some way towards providing justice".

Yesterday, Bob and Sally Dowler thanked detectives for

their "painstaking work" over the past eight years.

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In a statement issued through Surrey Police, they said: "It's very hard to say how we feel after eight long and difficult years.

"We are extremely grateful to Detective Superintendent Maria Woodall and her investigating team for their painstaking work and support to us over the years.

"We are pleased that Levi Bellfield has been charged with abduction and murder and hope this will go some way towards providing justice for our darling Milly."

Earlier, prosecutors had announced that the former doorman and wheelclamper will go on trial accused of kidnapping and murdering 13-year-old Milly.

Bellfield, 41, will also be charged with attempting to kidnap Rachel Cowles in Shepperton, Surrey, the day before Milly disappeared.

A Crown Prosecution Service solicitor said a summons would soon be served on Bellfield.

He said: "During my review of the file, I asked the police to conduct further investigations in relation to specific matters, which I considered would have an important bearing on my decision in this complex case.

"Those investigations were completed in February of this year.

"After carefully reviewing all the evidence in this case, I have now reached the decision that there is sufficient evidence and that it is in the public interest to charge Levi Bellfield with three offences,"

Amanda Dowler, known to her family as Milly, vanished while walking home from school in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, on March 21 2002.

Six months later her skeletal remains were found 30 miles away by mushroom pickers in Hampshire.