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Top UK Detective Speaks Out About Finding Milly Dowler's Killer

A top UK detective has spoken out on finding Milly Dowler's killer.

Detective Chief Inspector Colin Sutton is the detective who headed up the case, which led to the conviction of serial killer Levi Bellfield.


Bellfield was also convicted of the murders of two young women before schoolgirl Milly - Amélie Delagrange and Marsha McDonnell.

He was also convicted of the attempted murder of teenager Kate Sheedy in 2008. The former bouncer and wheel clamper was later convicted of the murder of Milly Dowler in 2011.

DCI Sutton has recently been portrayed by Martin Clunes in ITV drama Manhunt, which tells viewers the story of the detective's chase of the killer up to the moment he reads the charges against Bellfield before he stood trial.

DCI Colin Sutton led the investigation. (Credit: ITV)
DCI Colin Sutton led the investigation. (Credit: ITV)

Speaking to the Radio Times, Sutton has spoke about the moment he charged Bellfield after investigating him.

Inspector Sutton said: "At Milton Keynes Police Station where he was being held they told me someone from the team needed to read the charges.


"It was something I had never expected to do, although I had visualised doing it many times. For me to be the person doing it and looking him in the eye two feet apart and telling him he would formally have to answer for these things he had done was a powerful emotional moment for me. It meant I got to serve the coup de grace myself. "

Colin is currently being played by Martin Clunes. (Credit: ITV)
Colin is currently being played by Martin Clunes. (Credit: ITV)

Sutton also revealed Bellfield's reaction the the charges: "He said, 'Not guilty, sir'. Words he had to say because he knew it was being recorded and written down.

"But I could see in his eyes that he had lost, he knew he had been beaten at that point. He had had a history and lifetime of being able to charm and talk his way out of things. He didn't expect to get beaten on this one, but he was."

Marsha McDonnell was a 19-year-old woman who died in hospital two days after being admitted as a result of being beaten over the head with a blunt instrument near her home in Hampton, London, in February 2003.

Manhunt is a three-part drama. (Credit: ITV)
Manhunt is a three-part drama. (Credit: ITV)

Amélie Delagrange was a 22-year-old French student visiting the UK. She was found at Twickenham Green on the evening of 19 August 2004 with serious head injuries, and died in hospital the same night.

Bellfield was convicted of the attempted murder of Kate Sheedy, then aged 18.

She was run over as she crossed the road near an entrance to an industrial estate in Isleworth on 28 May 2004. She survived, but suffered multiple injuries and spent several weeks in hospital.

Four years later, she gave evidence against Bellfield when he was tried with her attempted murder.

Bellfield was convicted of Millie's murder in 2011. (Credit: Surrey Police)
Bellfield was convicted of Millie's murder in 2011. (Credit: Surrey Police)

Milly Dowler was a 13-year-old girl who went missing on leaving the railway station in Walton-on-Thames on 21 March 2002 and was found dead in Yateley Heath Woods, Yateley, six months later.

Sutton also mentioned how he is still in contact with some of the victims' families.

He said: "I am in touch with the McDonnell family quite frequently. When it comes to February, the month when Marsha died, they get sentimental about it as you would expect.

"But it's nice to keep in touch with them. I have had contact with Amelie's family and there is a scene in the drama where I talk to them and tell them about a huge mistake in the investigation and they had dinner with me and it happened like that. They are extraordinarily decent people."

Featured Image Credit: PA Images

Topics: News, Life News, TV News, Real

Bethany Gleave

Bethany Gleave is a Freelance Journalist at PRETTY52 and joined the team in 2018. She is a Multimedia Journalism graduate from the University of Salford, and started her career at a national press agency, writing breaking and trending news for the national newspapers.

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