Serial killer Levi Bellfield’s prison marriage bid is ‘inconceivable’ – Raab
Serial killer Levi Bellfield’s request to get married in prison is “inconceivable” unless serious safeguarding concerns are addressed, Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said.
Bellfield has applied for permission to marry a woman while he is serving two whole life sentences for murdering Marsha McDonnell, Amelie Delagrange and Milly Dowler, The Sun first reported.
Mr Raab on Thursday suggested the prison nuptials are unlikely to happen because the 53-year-old is a “dangerous serial killer” and poses a risk to his fiancée.
When asked what powers he has to stop the wedding, Mr Raab, who is also deputy prime minister, criticised the Human Rights Act.
Speaking to the PA news agency, he said: “The Human Rights Act puts all sorts of obstacles in our way in that regard, which is I think one more reason why we are introducing a Bill of Rights to add a bit more common sense.
“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; we’ve asked for a risk assessment in relation to that.
“Clearly, we’re dealing with a dangerous serial killer.”
Mr Raab said it is “very difficult to see” how the safeguarding concerns could be overcome.
The Government outlined its plans to replace the Human Rights Act with a new Bill of Rights in Tuesday’s Queen’s speech.
Former bouncer and wheel-clamper Bellfield’s bid to wed is “exactly the kind of case” which shows the new legislation is needed, Mr Raab said.
He added: “We need written down in UK law a clear set of rights. They shouldn’t be trumped by elastic interpretations of human rights.”
Bellfield got down on one knee to propose to his visiting bride-to-be in front of prison staff at HMP Frankland in County Durham, The Sun reported.
A Ministry of Justice spokesman confirmed Bellfield is engaged and said: “An application (to get married) has been received and is being considered in the usual way.”
The bid is not thought to be at an advanced stage, with the killer needing the prison governor’s permission to marry at the category A men’s prison, it is understood.
Bellfield was given a whole life term for murdering Ms McDonnell, 19, in 2003, and murdering Ms Delagrange, 22, and trying to murder 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.
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