Boris Johnson ‘sickened’ by plan for serial killer Bellfield to marry in jail
Boris Johnson is “sickened and appalled” by plans for serial killer Levi Bellfield to marry in jail, Downing Street has said.
The government has launched an urgent review into whether it can stop “evil monster” Bellfield from marrying his fiancee, who is described in The Sun newspaper as a “besotted” blonde-haired woman in her 40s.
But the prime minister’s official spokesperson said that a decision on whether such a wedding can go ahead is one for the prison governor rather than ministers.
Bellfield is one of a handful of prisoners currently serving a whole-life term, meaning he will never be released, after being convicted of the murders of schoolgirl Milly Dowler, 19-year-old Marsha McDonnell, and French student Amelie Delagrange.
Prisons minister Victoria Atkins said: “This man is an evil, evil monster who has left a trail of despair and grief in his wake.”
The prime minister’s official spokesperson told reporters: “Like the rest of the country, the prime minister is sickened and appalled by this, and his thoughts are with the families and loved ones of his victims.
“They are at the forefront of his mind following this difficult and no doubt distressing news.”
The spokesperson said that applications to marry of this kind are “very rare” and are made under Article 12 of the Human Rights Act which the government intends to replace with a new British Bill of Rights.
He was unable to say whether such applications would be barred under the new regime envisaged by justice secretary Dominc Raab, but added: “Certainly the sorts of abuses we have seen of the Human Rights Act are exactly what this is designed to address.”
Speaking to ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Ms Atkins was unable to say whether the government would be able to prevent the marriage going ahead.
“My heart goes out to the families because, yet again, this appalling human being is on the front pages (of newspapers) and they’re having to think about him,” she said.
“I’m appalled that someone like this can make an application to get married – we’re looking into it very carefully. Watch this space please.”
The 53-year-old killer would need the permission of the governor at HMP Frankland to marry at the category A prison.
Rules state the prison governor can raise an objection to the facility being named on the notice of marriage as the place where the service is carried out.
The governor must discuss with the National Offender Management Service if there are concerns that any security risks cannot reasonably be overcome, or if there are concerns that either party is getting married under duress.