The murders of Lin and Megan Russell and the attempted murder of 9-year-old Josie Russell on a secluded country lane near Chillenden in Kent was one of the most shocking murder cases of the 1990's. 5 years after the murders, Michael Stone was convicted of the heinous crime, the trial against Michael Stone was largely based around a disputed cell confession. Today in a press conference, held by Michael Stone's lawyers, it is now claimed that notorious Serial Killer Levi Bellfield, who was convicted of the murders of 3 women made his own confession to the heinous crime, possibly casting doubt on the guilt of Michael Stone, who has been imprisoned for 16 years over the crime.

A legacy of violence

Levi Bellfield, now known as Yusuf Rahim is a man with a legacy of violence. Levi Bellfield's crimes first became public after the murders of two women in short succession in the West London area in the early 2000's. In February 2003, Levi Bellfield attacked 19-year-old Marsha McDonnell in Hampton in West London. She died two days later in hospital after being attacked with a blunt instrument. Then on 28th May 2004, a woman named Kate Sheedy was run over on an industrial estate in Isleworth in West London. Kate Sheedy suffered serious injuries but managed to survive the attack, she later went on to testify against Levi Bellfield. Then on 19th August 2004, 22-year-old Amelie Delagrange was found dead on Twickenham Green with serious head injuries.

The French student was pronounced dead at the hospital later that night.

It took nearly 4 years to bring Levi Bellfield to justice for these crimes when he was convicted of the murders in 2008, but it emerged that this crime spree was not Levi Bellfield's only flirtation with serious violence. Levi Bellfield was also convicted of another highly publicised murder case, the murder of 13-year-old Milly Dowler in 2002.

Milly Dowler disappeared near a railway station in Walton-on-Thames and was found dead in Yately some six months later. Bellfield denied he was involved but was subsequently convicted of this murder on 23rd June 2011. Bellfield has been linked to many other unsolved murders and attacks on women, including the murder of his childhood girlfriend Patsy Morris in 1980.

In the press conference held today regarding the Russell murders, the solicitor for Michael Stone, Paul Bacon said that Levi Bellfield had confessed to the Russell murders while he was imprisoned in Frankland jail. He told a press conference in London. "We have now received evidence of a full confession by Levi Bellfield of the Russell murders." He went on to say that they have an "independent witness who saw Levi Bellfield close to the scene of the murders at about the time that they were committed." Levi Bellfield, or Yusuf Rahim as he likes to be known, has said that the prisoner involved in disclosing information of the alleged confession is a "fantasist and a liar" and that he denies all involvement.

It is not known whether a new appeal process will be able to take place. Michael Stone made an application for a Judicial Review of his case back in 2012 but this request was denied. The evidence against Michael Stone which led to his conviction was controversial, it was claimed during the trial that Michael Stone admitted to carrying out the murders through a heating pipe to the prisoner who was in the next cell. Damien Daley, who claimed that Stone made the confession admitted that he had lied about some of his "drug-taking exploits" in court, and there was no forensic evidence which implicated Michael Stone to the crime. The validity of this latest alleged confession is hard to verify, but Michael Stone's solicitor obviously thought that the evidence they have in their possession warranted an impromptu press conference. It may be that this latest revelation will instigate a new investigation into one of the most notorious murders of the 1990's.