‘I didn’t do this’: Man convicted of grisly 1996 hammer double murder pleads his innocence and points the finger at Milly Dowler’s killer Levi Bellfield in jail tapes – as his lawyer demands new DNA tests
- Michael Stone’s legal team have demanded his case is reopened
- Earlier this year, murderer Levi Bellfield allegedly confessed to the killings
A convicted killer serving three life sentences for the grisly double murder of a mother and her daughter has pleaded he ‘didn’t do this’ and pointed the finger of blame at Milly Dowler’s killer Levi Bellfield instead.
Michael Stone, 63, has always maintained his innocence regarding the gruesome murders of Linn Russell and her daughter Meghan who were savagely killed in the picturesque village of Chillenden, Kent in 1996.
In new interviews from his cell in HMP Frankland which are due to be aired in a Sky documentary, The Russell Murders: Who Killed Lin & Mega , the killer pleads: ‘I never did this. It wasn’t me. I wasn’t there.
‘Bellfield is getting it off his chest and telling the truth. It should show that I’m not responsible.’
The killings – which shocked the nation- saw Lin, 45 and her two daughters, Josie and Megan, six, as well as their dog Lucy tied up and savagely beaten with a hammer in the brutal attack.
Michael Stone (pictured) is currently imprisoned after twice being convicted of the Russell murders but has consistently insisted his innocence
Lin Russell, 45, her two daughters, six-year-old Megan (above with her mother) and nine-year-old Josie, were tied up and savagely beaten with a hammer in the brutal attack in 1996
Serial killer Levi Bellfield has reportedly confessed to a double murder from 1996 and signed a written statement with ‘information only the killer would know’
The only person to survive the ordeal was nine-year-old Josie who sustained horrific injuries with Stone going on to be convicted of murder and attempted murder in 1998.
Earlier this year, Bellfield reportedly signed a confession to the double murder, which ‘contains information only the killer would know’.
READ MORE: Serial killer Levi Bellfield ‘signs confession to killing Lin and Megan Russell’, claims man found guilty of the 1996 double murder
Speaking in April, Stone’s solicitor claimed they had received a ‘genuine’ four-page statement from Bellfield in which he details his involvement in the killings – until he withdrew it.
Bellfield’s solicitor Theresa Clark told the Mirror : ‘This is a new and more detailed one.
‘The statement made last year was never signed by him but he’s subsequently done a written statement which he’s signed.’
Kent Police have always maintained that Stone’s conviction is safe and referenced Bellfield’s troubling history of offering prison officers false confessions.
However, Stone’s legal team have said they will launch legal action to challenge the Criminal Case Review Commission’s (CCRC) decision to refuse to refer his conviction to the Court of Appeal.
Stone’s barrister Mark McDonald has called for a demanding a judicial review that would mean the investigation into the Chillenden murders would be reopened.
Of particular interest to Stone’s defence would be fragments of DNA found on a bootlace that was discovered a short distance from the bodies as no forensic link between Stone and the murder scene has ever been established.
Stone has twice been found guilty of their murders and is serving three life sentences, but no scientific or identification evidence links him to the scene. Pictured: Police at scene in 2001
Lin, 45, her two daughters, six-year-old Megan and nine-year-old Josie, as well as their dog Lucy, were tied up and savagely beaten with a hammer in the brutal attack. Only Josie survived. The deaths in the picturesque village of Chillenden, Kent in 1996 shocked the nation
Stone’s defence team claim that new Y-STR DNA testing techniques could now prove Bellfield was responsible.
Speaking to the Mirror, Mr McDonald said: ‘The CCRC have said they will not be doing any further DNA testing.
‘We are issuing a letter to force them to do testing that they haven’t done. There were broken strands of DNA found at the scene which did not belong to the family and did not belong to Michael Stone.
‘It is that that we want testing. We want Mr Stone’s case to be sent directly to the Court of Appeal.’
Stone’s police record dates back to 1971 when he was 12 years old and continued into his adult life, serving three prison sentences in the 1980s and 1990s.
Stone has previous convictions for crimes including ABH, robbery, burglary and GBH and was known to carry weapons.
He was sentenced to two years’ in prison in 1981 for attacking a man with a hammer during a robbery.
He then received a four-and-a-half year sentence for stabbing a friend while he slept in 1983, an attack that penetrated the friend’s lung and nearly killed him, and he tried to wound a police officer in the eye after this arrest.
Stone was jailed for a third time and sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment for two armed robberies in Maidstone and Brighton respectively during the same week in 1986.
He was released from prison in 1993.
After being arrested on unrelated charges a year after the murders, Stone was alleged to have confessed to the murders to prisoner Damien Daley in Canterbury Prison.
Levi Bellfield is currently serving life in prison for the murder of schoolgirl Millie Dowler
Bellfield has also allegedly confessed to murdering 19-year-old student, Elizabeth Chau in 1999
Bellfield is currently serving a life sentence for the murder of schoolgirl Millie Dowler, 13, in 2002.
He has also been convicted of murdering Marsha McDonnell and Amélie Delagrange and the attempted murder of Kate Sheedy, and will never be considered for parole. Bellfield is thought to be the only criminal in UK legal history to be serving two whole-life orders.
Earlier this year he is said to have confessed to another murder.
In April 1999, a 19-year-old student, Elizabeth Chau, left Thames Valley University and was caught on CCTV walking home along the Uxbridge Road near Ealing police station. She was never seen again.
The Sun reported Bellfield penned a ‘signed confession’ to killing Ms Chau, ‘bundling her in a van’ and also detailed ‘where she is buried’ as well as admitting five other murder attempts.
He is understood to have handed in the confession to his solicitor Theresa Clark in March this year however the Met Police have not yet began searching the area the killer claims to have buried her body.
Mr McDonalds continued: ‘The CCRC primarily dismissed Bellfield’s confession because they say he has spoken to police in the past and he has made confessions which the police have investigated and which turn out to be not true.
‘But they tell me what those cases are, what the allegations were and the extent of the police investigations. Bellfield has admitted to the murder of Elizabeth Chau. However the Metropolitan Police have refused to dig.
‘That raises questions about the CCRC decision because we don’t know the extent of the police investigations.’
A timeline of Levi Bellfield and Michael Stone’s arrests:
1981: His first conviction was for burglary
1990: Convicted of assaulting a police officer
October 14, 2001: Anna-Marie Rennie, 17, was attacked in Hospital Bridge Road, Witton, southwest London. She manages to escape but four years later identifies Bellfield as the man who tried to kidnap her. The jury failed to reach a verdict on a charge of false imprisonment and kidnapping
March 21 2002: Milly, 13, is walking home from school in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, when she disappears. Her remains are found six months later 25 miles away.
February 2003: Marsha McDonnell, 19, gets off a bus near her home in Hampton after a night out with friends, and is struck three times on the back of the head with a blunt object by Bellfield.
May 2004: Kate Sheedy, 18, is left for dead after Bellfield runs her down in his car after she gets off a bus in Isleworth after spending the evening with friends.
August 2004: Amelie Delagrange, 22, is battered to death by Bellfield after she gets off at the wrong bus stop and is attacked walking across Twickenham Green. She dies of head injuries.
February 2008: Bellfield is convicted of the murders of Marsha and Amelie, and the attempted murder of Kate.
March 2010: Bellfield is charged with killing Milly.
May 2011: Bellfield goes on trial at the Old Bailey after he denies abducting and murdering Milly.
June 2011: Bellfield yawns as he is found guilty of Milly’s murder. The following day he refuses to attend court where he is jailed for life. Bellfield becomes the first person to receive two whole-life terms.
February 2012: Bellfield loses a Court of Appeal bid to challenge his conviction for Milly’s kidnap and murder.
January 2016: Bellfield admits abducting, raping and killing schoolgirl Milly Dowler for the first time, Surrey Police say.
2017: Bellfield allegedly claimed he was behind the murders of Lin and Megan. He later retracted his confession and has never been charged.
2021: Bellfield issues a statement putting himself near the scene of the crimes – but denies murder.
February 2022: Bellfield has made a formal confession to murders of Lin and Megan Russell. Michael Stone’s lawyer, Paul Bacon, says killer had confessed in a four-page statement with details he claimed only the killer would know.
1981: Sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for attacking a man with a hammer in a robbery.
1983: Stone received a four-and-a-half year sentence for stabbing a friend while he slept and later tried to wound a police officer in the eye after being arrested
1986: He was sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment for two armed robberies in Maidstone, Kent and Brighton during the same week.
1993: Stone was released from prison.
1996: Mother and daughter Lin and Megan Russell were murdered along with the family dog as they walked home after a swimming gala around 4pm on Tuesday, July 9, 1996.
1997: Police arrested and charged 37 year-old Stone
1998: Michael Stone was found guilty of the murders and an attempted murder.
2001: Stone faced a retrial after one of the prisoners withdrew the claim against him. But he was found guilty once more and sentenced to three life-sentences.
21 December 2006: A judge decided that Stone should spend at least 25 years in prison before being considered for parole.
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