BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 25 February 2008, 15:44 GMT
Stalker guilty of student murders
Levi Bellfield
Bellfield stalked lone women at bus stops

A man has been found guilty of murdering two students he stalked at bus stops in south-west London.

Levi Bellfield, 39, of West Drayton, west London, was convicted of killing Amelie Delagrange, 22, and Marsha McDonnell, 19.

He has also been found guilty of the attempted murder of Kate Sheedy.

Bellfield attacked the women in 2003 and 2004. Police also suspect him of carrying out 20 other attacks on women. He will be sentenced on Tuesday.

Police revealed after the trial that the other attacks Bellfield is suspected of carrying out include six attempted date rapes involving drugs and they believe more victims will now come forward.

The former bouncer is also due to be questioned over the murder of 13-year-old Milly Dowler, who went missing on her way home from school in Walton-on-Thames in Surrey on 21 March 2002.

Marsha McDonnell (l) and Amelie Delagrange
Bellfield stalked lone women at bus stops
During the trial the prosecution said Bellfield trawled buses and bus stops for women and attacked them when they rejected him.

Miss McDonnell was "bludgeoned to death" just yards from her front door after she got off a bus in February 2003.

And in August 2004 Miss Delagrange died from severe head injuries following an attack on Twickenham Green when she was walking home after missing her bus stop.

Miss Sheedy suffered extensive injuries when she got off a bus and was hit by a car, which reversed back over her before driving off, in May 2004, when she was 18.

The road to recovery has been emotionally and physically hard... there were times when I thought I would never get better
Kate Sheedy

Speaking outside court, Miss Sheedy said she would never forget what happened to her.

"I have waited for nearly four years for this day and it is hard to express how much it means to me," the former convent school head girl said.

"The road to recovery has been emotionally and physically hard.

"There were times when I thought I would never get better.

"The fact that Bellfield has been found guilty means more than I can say."

'Barbaric crimes'

Miss McDonnell's uncle, Shane McDonnell, said: "Five years have passed since the night our beloved Marsha was so cruelly taken from this world, a girl that only had love in her heart, brutally slain by a man who only has hate in his.

"For her family, life will never quite be the same ever again, the pain and hurt that we carry will always be there.

"It is a sentence with no remission. We welcome the news today that the man responsible for these barbaric crimes has finally been proved to be guilty, after nearly five months of having to endure the cowardly charade of innocence put forward by the defence, we at last get to see Levi Bellfield for what he truly is."

Det Ch Insp Colin Sutton, from the Metropolitan Police, said Bellfield was a clever, cunning, arrogant and very dangerous man.

"He clearly is a dangerous man and clearly south west London in general will be a much safer place, particularly for women.

"This wicked series of attacks ended in 2004 when Levi Bellfield was arrested."

Miss Delagrange's parents, Jean Francois and Dominique, said they had attended the trial as their "way of being there in memory of our daughter".

'Short tragedy'

The couple said Bellfield had shown an "unbelievable level of arrogance" and had winked and mouthed obscenities to family members during the trial.

Mr Delagrange said: "This court trial has at least allowed us to understand the final page of her very short existence.

"Today we have arrived at the last chapter of this very short tragedy of Amelie's life."

The jury of seven women and five men was unable to reach verdicts on two other charges.

These were the kidnap and false imprisonment of Anna-Maria Rennie, 17, and the attempted murder of hairdresser Irma Dragoshi, 33.

The Crown Prosecution Service said it would not seek a retrial on the two counts.

The relatives of Miss Delagrange, Miss McDonnell and Miss Sheedy held hands with supporters at the back of the court when the verdicts were read out.

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific