Bellfield claims he was offered cash by Michael Stone to admit murders - lawyer

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Serial killer Levi Bellfield claims he has been offered payment to confess to the Chillenden murders by convict Michael Stone, his lawyer has said.

Bellfield, who is serving two whole life prison sentences for murdering two women and schoolgirl Milly Dowler, 13, has denied making any confession to the hammer killings of Lin Russell, 45, and her daughter Megan, six, and the attempted murder of her other daughter Josie, then nine.

Stone is serving three life sentences for the attack, near Chillenden in Kent in July 1996, but on Wednesday lawyers representing the 57-year-old, who has always maintained his innocence, claimed Bellfield allegedly confessed to another inmate.

Bellfield's solicitor Julie Cooper said the 49-year-old had complained to the prison authorities about contact from Stone.

The men are both housed in HMP Frankland, a high-security prison in Durham, although they are understood to be on different wings.

In a statement, Miss Cooper said: "Mr Bellfield denies the murders of the Russell family and denies ever making such a confession.

Levi Bellfield "Mr Stone has offered payment to our client, which he anticipates receiving as compensation for time served in custody.

"Our client has three notes from Mr Stone in this regard which has been given to the prison service, together with a number of complaints regarding Mr Stone about his persistent attempts to get our client to accept responsibility for his (Mr Stone's) crimes.

"Mr Bellfield instructs that he has invited Mr Stone to undertake a polygraph test, which has been declined.

Lin Russell
Lin Russell with the family's dogs (PA)

"For the record, Mr Bellfield is willing to undertake such a test in respect of the murders for which he is serving a life sentence and the murders of the Russell family."

The statement went on to deny specific parts of the alleged confession, which Stone's legal team suggested was "very detailed" and contained elements of the crimes that were not made public.

Miss Cooper said details regarding a red Sierra, the use of gloves by the killer and the fact Bellfield had travelled to Turkey had all been publicised in the media and television programmes.

"We underline that our client denies ever making such a confession," Miss Cooper said.

Police activity at the scene where Lin and Megan Russell were battered to death
Police activity at the scene where Lin and Megan Russell were battered to death (Sean Dempsey/PA)

She added she felt it was "unkind" of Stone's lawyers to make the claim as Bellfield's mother was still alive, as were Josie and her father Shaun Russell.

The criticism was echoed by the police, with Nick Downing, assistant chief constable for the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, saying: "We feel it is no longer contemporaneous and is unfair on the victims to continue to raise questions or re-release details about the murder investigation and subsequent conviction of Michael Stone."

The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), which previously dismissed an appeal in 2010, confirmed it had received an application from Stone's lawyers in August and the case is under investigation.

Stone was convicted of the attack for a second time in 2001 after Court of Appeal judges quashed his first conviction in 1998.

@ccrcupdate statement on new application from Michael Stone is here: https://t.co/LrNrlUgrtr

-- CCRC (@ccrcupdate) November 29, 2017

There was no forensic evidence against Stone and he was convicted on the evidence of Damien Daley, who admitted in the witness box that he had lied about his drug-taking exploits at the first trial in 1998.

Daley said Stone confessed to the hammer murders through a heating pipe into the next cell at Canterbury Prison, something Stone maintains was a lie.

Bellfield, who now calls himself Yusuf Rahim, was jailed in 2011 after being found guilty of abducting and killing Milly Dowler following a trial at the Old Bailey.

He was already in jail for the murders of Amelie Delagrange, 22, and Marsha McDonnell, 19, and the attempted murder of Kate Sheedy, 18.

Asked about Bellfield's complaints, a Prison Service spokeswoman said they could not comment on individuals.