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Evidence may link serial killer to hammer murders

New evidence could link serial killer Levi Bellfield to the hammer murders of a woman and her daughter, lawyers acting for a man convicted of the killings say.

Michael Stone is serving life sentences for bludgeoning Dr Lin Russell, 45, and her six-year-old daughter Megan to death near Chillenden, Kent, in 1996.

He was also convicted of the attempted murder of Dr Russell's other daughter Josie, nine, who suffered severe head injuries in the attack on a country lane.

Stone has always maintained his innocence and his legal team says they are set to present new evidence which points to serial killer Levi Bellfield, whose three murder victims included 13-year-old Milly Dowler.

The lawyers said: "There is now new and compelling evidence which proves that (Stone) was not responsible for these awful crimes.

Image:Convicted murdered Michael Stone yells as he loses a court appeal in 2005

"The evidence suggests that the person responsible is Levi Bellfield, the convicted murderer of three women including Milly Dowler."

Stone's barrister, Mark McDonald, said the evidence should be tested by the Court of Appeal and if proven to be true would uncover "the largest miscarriage of justice since the Birmingham Six".

It is not the first time Bellfield has been accused of involvement in the Russell murders – Stone's solicitor, Paul Bacon, claimed in 2011 that Milly's killer was a better match for the e-fit of the suspect issued during the police manhunt.

A jury at Maidstone Crown Court found Stone guilty of murder and attempted murder in October 1998.

The convictions were quashed by Court of Appeal judges in 2001 after doubts over key witness Damien Daley, who said Stone confessed to the Russell murders through a heating pipe at Canterbury Prison.

Lin Russell and her six-year-old daughter Megan were found bludgeoned to death
Image:Lin Russell and her six-year-old daughter Megan were found bludgeoned to death

However, Stone was convicted again following a second trial at Nottingham Crown Court.

Bellfield was sentenced to life in prison without parole for abducting and killing Milly Dowler in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, in March 2002.

At the time of the trial, the former nightclub bouncer was already in jail for the murders of Amelie Delagrange and Marsha McDonnell, and the attempted murder of Kate Sheedy.

In November 2016, Met Police closed a probe into other serious crimes allegedly involving Bellfield, saying all lines of inquiry had been "exhausted" and officers had found no evidence linking him to cases for which he had not already been convicted.

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