Dominic Raab’s warning over serial killer Levi Bellfield’s prison marriage bid

Dominic Raab said he plans to “move quickly” to stop Levi Bellfield challenging a decision that blocked the serial killer from marrying in prison.

The Justice Secretary said Bellfield’s bid for a legal challenge is not “appropriate”, and vowed: “I’m going to change the law.”

Bellfield, 54, is currently serving two whole life sentences for the murder of three women, including 13-year-old Milly Dowler.

He applied to marry his girlfriend last year, and has reportedly made a bid for legal aid to challenge the decision to block his marriage.

Mr Raab, who intends to unveil a new Victims Bill that would ban those on whole life sentences from getting married, told LBC: “I don’t think it is appropriate and, both within the realm of the existing powers that I have but also the legislative agenda, on which I will be saying more shortly, I think it is wrong.

“There is a question around the risk around anyone who would marry an offender as egregious as, in this case, Levi Bellfield.”

Dominic Raab on preventing Levi Bellfield from marrying
Dominic Raab said there was no question of taxpayers footing the bill for any sort of celebration by Levi Bellfield (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Mr Raab added there is “no question” that the bill for Bellfield’s bid to get married would be footed by the taxpayer.

“There is no question of taxpayers’ money being used on some sort of celebration,” he said.

Explaining why he felt new legislation was needed, Mr Raab said: “I think particularly in that kind of case, I think a lot of people, and I know your listeners will find it an affront to the basic system of criminal justice.

“I don’t think it is appropriate and I’m going to change the law. We are committed to that.”

Mr Raab, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, previously criticised the Human Rights Act for putting “all sorts of obstacles” in the way of being able to block Bellfield’s marriage.

Upon receiving Bellfield’s application for marriage in 2022, Mr Raab said: “What I can tell you is it is inconceivable that the prison or the Ministry of Justice would authorise that marriage unless the very significant concerns about the safeguarding were addressed.”

Bellfield received a whole life sentence for the murder of Marsha McDonnell, 19, in 2003, Amelie Delagrange, 22, and the attempted murder of Kate Sheedy, 18, in 2004.

He was already serving his sentence when he went on trial for killing schoolgirl Milly, who was snatched from the street walking home from school in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, in March 2002.

He was found guilty of abducting and killing the 13-year-old following a trial at the Old Bailey in 2011.