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tv   The Film Review  BBC News  December 1, 2017 8:45pm-9:01pm GMT

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but their evidence of a man seen acting suspiciously is inconsistent. indeed, some reported seeing two, or three, people in the area. with the investigation stalling, police turned to crimewatch for help. a little later, a local resident had to slow down as a car pulled out in front of her. it was coming from the direction of the murder scene. that witness who followed the car helped police to put together an e—fit of a man she saw driving away from the murder scene. that same e—fit helped police to identify stone as a suspect for the first time. josie confirmed the e—fit was a good likeness of the man who attacked her but didn't pick michael stone out at an id parade. neither did the eye—witness responsible for the e—fit but she did say "he looks very familiar". the first time i saw this was when police brought it here, soon after mick was arrested. detectives took the e—fit to stone's sister, to see if she felt it resembled her brother.
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they held them up and they were trying to explain to me the similarities. the police were trying to persuade you that these two pictures looked the same? yeah, that mick could be that person. look at the furrows along there — nothing there. and the hairline in particular. the hairline. and also this person has got quite a wide face, whereas my brother's chin i think is quite prominent. these two pictures are of bellfield. again, the hairshape is looking very similar. the shape of the face is about the same. the ears are the same. do you think that levi bellfield is possibly the killer? do you think the evidence against him is certainly stronger than against your brother? i won't be drawn really on did he do it, or didn't he do it. i'm just saying there is definitely more evidence against him than there has ever been against my brother. despite extensive tests, the police were unable to identify the russells‘ killer from forensic evidence. in the alleged confession,
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it's claimed bellfield said he wore gloves during the attack — but was worried about developments in dna testing. the alleged confession has been re—voiced. he was very concerned at the advances of dna and how any development might point to him, saying, "my life injail would be over if they could prove it was me." allanjamieson is a forensics expert, and he's familiar with the evidence found at the murder scene. given the ferocity, the brutal nature of the attack on the russells, would you have expected the killer — whoever he was — to have left behind significant amounts of dna, and other evidence, at the scene? it depends on what the killer was thinking. it may be they've deliberately taken precautions to avoid leaving evidence. many people are forensically aware and take precautions not
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to leave fingerprints, by wearing gloves, for example. perhaps this is one of those cases where the evidence certainly at the time was undetectable. there was no forensic evidence linking michael stone to the scene, no dna. a fingerprint found on a packed lunch box was not his. and hairs found on a child's shoe have not been identified. a key piece of evidence for detectives investigating the attack on the russells was a car seen on the day of the murders. several witnesses reported seeing a beige car, possibly a ford, in the vicinity, on the afternoon ofjuly ninth. michael stone was questioned by detectives about the cars he was driving in the summer of ‘96. what kind of car were you driving at the time?
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i had a toyota tercel, two—door. but i wasn't driving it, because i'd made a bit of a deal with somebody. he was gonna fix my car if i let him drive it around for a few days. four days before the murders, stone had been seen by a police officer driving the white toyota, and a week after the attack stone was stopped by another officer and was driving the same car then. but what about levi bellfield? did he have access to a beige car at the time? the prisoner to whom he allegedly confessed says he did. he was driving his girlfriend's car — i think he said a ford sierra — not red though, but beige, which after the murders it was burnt out and she had claimed on the insurance. one of the cars associated with bellfield was a beige—coloured ford sierra sapphire.
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yeah, i had a sapphire. he had gone out one night in it to bedfont, to the working men's club he used to go to quite a lot. conveniently, it got stolen and it was found burnt out. do you know when this was? what year, what month? it was in '96. it would probably have been end of march, somewhere round that time. the russells were attacked in the summer of 1996. in a statement to this programme, levi bellfield denied using his former girlfriend's car on the day of the attack. in the alleged confession, bellfield says that "straight after" attacking the russells he went to turkey. it's claimed that pattern of disappearing in the immediate aftermath of a crime is something that he repeated years later. geoffrey wansell is a journalist who has studied levi bellfield and written a book about him.
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he would take the family away on holiday immediately after committing a crime. "0h, we'll go to tenerife, we'll go at once, we must go tomorrow." he would remove himself from any suspicion of evidence against him. he was immensely cunning — he would cover his tracks, sell the car, give it away, hide it. bellfield has confirmed to us he travelled to turkey in 1996, but he denies fleeing there after attacking the russells. one key question remains — why would he be in rural kent, 100 miles away from his known haunts in london? did he have any connections in kent? yeah, yeah — something to do with a mobile home, or holiday home sort of thing, and he was backwards and forwards to kent quite a bit. do you know whereabouts in kent? no, not off the top of my head. michael stone did have connections to kent. he was living in gillingham at the time — about a0 miles
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from the murder scene. well, i know all of kent really, don't i. when i went with the jury in the bus and visited that area, i have no recollection of the place whatsoever. that's well off my beaten track. another reason kent police suspected stone was his lack of an alibi. at the time, he was a heroin addict and he couldn't give a satisfactory explanation for his whereabouts onjuly the 9th, 1996. while bellfield's girlfriend had concerns about his behaviour in 1996, she insists he couldn't have been responsible for the russells' murders onjuly the 9th. my daughter was born in '96 and that was the day of my birthday. he never left my side all day and all night. so, there's absolutely no way he could have got from twickenham, where i lived, or windsor where i kept my horses, to kent —
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done what they say he did, and got back without me not knowing he was there. you don't think he was responsible? hand on my heart. i hate to say it, but i can say hand on my heart he didn't do it. 0n the face of it, bellfield appears to have a solid alibi — so does that weaken michael stone's case? in my view, there are question marks about her alibi as to whether or not she is mistaken. that is for others to decide, not for me, i don't know. but it's not black and white. it's not black and white. levi bellfield has been convicted of three murders, and in his confession he allegedly details many more crimes he's committed. it's claimed he showed the prisoner he had befriended a list of offences going back to the 1990s. there were 96 entries listed, ranging from attempted indecent
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assault to murder — and every possible sex offence in between. he said he had accomplices on several of the attacks. bellfield denies any such list exists. the detective who investigated bellfield is in no doubt there are many more crimes he was responsible for. i'm sure that we've only scratched the surface in, you know, the crimes which he's been convicted probably represent a very small percentage of what he's done throughout his life. but his criminality knew no bounds in my view and i think, you know, he's probably committed hundreds, if not thousands of offences over the years. in a statement, levi bellfield told this programme he did not kill
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the russells, and he denies having confessed to their murders. after his trial in 1998, stone successfully appealed and the convictions were quashed. but after a retrial he was found guilty for a second time. we asked kent police to respond to the new allegations. they told us michael stone's protests of his innocence have been thoroughly tested by thejudicial system. the main evidence remaining against michael stone is, ironically, a confession, heard by this man, damien daley. in 1997, he was in a neighbouring cell to stone, and daley says stone confessed to him via a pipe in the adjoining cell. michael stone's confession has always been controversial. even though two juries accepted its credibility and found him guilty of murder. stone and his supporters have always said it cannot be relied upon. but michael stone is himself now pinning his own hopes of a fresh
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appeal on another alleged confession, said to have been made here, at frankland prison in durham. why should we believe this confession any more than the alleged false confession which you said was made by michael stone? knowing something in a confession that other people would not know goes to the core of the credibility of the confession. but it goes further. because of the way he takes the confession, the way that he writes it down. the fact that he is telling his solicitor the day that he hears it, "i have just heard this." so he's supporting it at the same time as he's writing it by telling someone what he has heard. it's corroborative. so we have a confession, we have parts of the confession that's not in the public domain, and we've got an eyewitness to say that it was bellfield that i saw there that day.
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in my view, the conviction's unsafe. but again, it's up to the court of appeal, it has to be tested, has to be scrutinised. michael stone has applied to the criminal cases review commission again, in the hope of returning to the court of appeal once more. but it all hinges on the credibility of the alleged confession by this man, levi bellfield. hello once again. the weather this
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weekend is pretty straightforward, fairfor many weekend is pretty straightforward, fair for many parts weekend is pretty straightforward, fairfor many parts of britain. we have an area of high pressure in this great loop in the crowd, the frontal system such as they are toppling into the british isles from the north west. they have enough about them for there to be enough rain associated with that. streams of showers to the west and towards the far is but the vein of cloud keeping temperatures that fraction higher than we've seen of late. not that crisp start to suspect that many of you have enjoyed of late. but it will be that little bit milder, quite a bit of cloud across the west and a scattering of showers. a frontal system running around high pressure, bringing rain to north scotland creeping south. as we get onto the evening, the band of whether gets towards the south and on sunday, it initially in the far south and east, following on behind brighter skies, working their way in from the northern parts of britain towards the south and the temperatures as you see, much higher
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than recent, 7—11. this is bbc world news today. our top stories. the most senior member of the trump administration so far is charged in the probe into possible collusion with russia. sacked national security adviser, michael flynn, has pleaded guilty to lying to the fbi about his contacts with moscow. the us media reports he will testify that donald trump's son—in—law, jared kushner, was amongst those who directed him contact with russia. the white house says that nothing about the guilty plea — or the charge — implicates anyone other than mr flynn. we'll bring you all the very latest. the eu will refuse to begin talks on a post—brexit trade deal if ireland is not satisfied with the uk's offer on the northern irish border. pope francis comes face to face with the agony of rohingya
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