Serial killer Levi Bellfield has become engaged to a female visitor who he plans to marry in jail.
The Government said it has launched an urgent review into whether it can stop “evil monster” Bellfield from marrying his fiancee, who is described in the Sun newspaper as a “besotted” blonde-haired woman in her 40s.
Bellfield is one of a handful of prisoners currently serving a whole-life term, meaning he will never be released, after being convicted of the murders of schoolgirl Milly Dowler, 19-year-old Marsha McDonnell, and French student Amelie Delagrange.
Prisons minister Victoria Atkins said: “This man is an evil, evil monster who has left a trail of despair and grief in his wake.”
She told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “My heart goes out to the families because, yet again, this appalling human being is on the front pages (of newspapers) and they’re having to think about him.”
But she did not say, when asked, whether she could actually stop the wedding going ahead, citing Article 12 of the Human Rights Act and the right to marry.
She added: “I’m appalled that someone like this can make an application to get married – we’re looking into it very carefully. Watch this space please.”
The 53-year-old killer would need the permission of the governor at HMP Frankland to marry at the category A prison.
Rules state the prison governor can raise an objection to the facility being named on the notice of marriage as the place where the service is carried out.
The governor must discuss with the National Offender Management Service if there are concerns that any security risks cannot reasonably be overcome, or if there are concerns that either party is getting married under duress.
While prison marriages are rare, they are not unheard of.
In 2017, Charles Bronson – one of the UK’s longest serving and most notorious prisoners – married former soap actor Paula Williamson, while WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange tied the knot with Stella Moris two months ago at Belmarsh high security jail while he awaits extradition to the US over espionage charges.
The Sun said Bellfield got down on one knee to propose in front of prison staff at the facility in County Durham.
A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “An application has been received and is being considered in the usual way.”
Bellfield was given a whole life term for murdering Ms McDonnell, 19, in 2003, and murdering Ms Delagrange, 22, and attempting to murder Kate Sheedy, 18, in 2004.
He was already serving this sentence when he went on trial for killing schoolgirl Milly, who was snatched from the street walking from school to her home in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, in March 2002.
Bellfield was found guilty of abducting and killing the 13-year-old following a trial at the Old Bailey in 2011.