Detective who caught Milly Dowler’s killer to stand for Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner

Former Detective Chief Inspector and Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner candidate Colin Sutton

Former Detective Chief Inspector and Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner candidate Colin Sutton - Credit: cont

The former Metropolitan Police detective responsible for catching Milly Dowler's murderer is to stand for election as Suffolk's Police and Crime Commissioner.

Milly Dowler

Milly Dowler - Credit: PA

Ex-Detective Chief Inspector Colin Sutton now lives in mid-Suffolk and is standing as an independent in May's ballot.

The 55-year-old led the investigation which culminated in the conviction of Levi Bellfield for the London murders of Amelia Delagrange in 2004 and Marsha McDonnell in 2003, and the attempted murder of Kate Sheedy in 2004.

Bellfield was sentenced to a whole life tariff in 2008.

He has since converted to Islam and changed his name to Yusuf Rahim

Levi Bellfield

Levi Bellfield - Credit: PA

Although he was not directly involved with the Milly Dowler inquiry Mr Sutton believed Bellfield fitted the killer's profile and gave his name to the Surrey police team investigating the 13-year-old's murder in 2002.

Bellfield was convicted in 2011, but had always denied the murder until his shock confession this week.

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It is reported the former bouncer will now face further investigations involving nine forces, although Suffolk is not thought to be among them.

Mr Sutton said: 'There's no doubt he's a very prolific criminal.

'There were nine rape and assaults that are lying on file on an indictment which was never proceeded with. There are five or six drug-induced gang rapes on teenage girls (set aside on CPS advice). And there are 20 to 30 assaults on men and women – serious assaults, hammer attack and house brick attacks across the country – something like nine police forces are now looking at.'

Mr Sutton said Bellfield may have finally confessed to Milly Dowler's murder for one of two reasons.

Either as a result of his religious conversion he may want to unburden himself. Or the other, more likely reason, is that Bellfield may have an eye to the future should a successful challenge to the legality of whole life tariffs in England and Wales mean that he could be eligible for a parole date.

Mr Sutton said: 'He is a very manipulative person. He's intuitive and intelligent. He sees situations and immediately assesses them and works out what's the best course of action for Levi Bellfield.'

Mr Sutton retired five years ago after 30 years' service as a police officer. He has lived in Suffolk for four years.

He said he wants to become the county's Police and Crime Commissioner standing on a platform which puts local policing first.

Mr Sutton believes it is better for an independent candidate to be a PCC.

He said: 'I think that the police service has been under all sorts of attacks in terms of political imperatives.

'To have a PCC who is beholden to the Government is unhealthy in my opinion.

'We have difficulties in terms of financing but not withstanding that we can be better in what we do if we concentrate our resources on local policing rather than too many officers and staff in non policing roles.

'Although traditional crime is reputedly on the decrease it is still a rural county for the residents of Suffolk who want to see a visible presence and firm action taken.'