UK & World News
Triple-Killer Levi Bellfield Wins £4.5k Payout
The killer of schoolgirl Milly Dowler has been awarded £4,500 compensation for a prison attack that left him with only minor injuries.
The payout to Levi Bellfield has been branded a "complete disgrace" and has raised questions over prisoners "playing the system" at the taxpayers' expense.
He was attacked with a makeshift weapon in Wakefield prison in 2009 where he was serving life sentences for the murders of 22-year-old Amelie Delagrange and 19-year-old Marsha McDonnell in southwest London.
He suffered what he admitted were minor injuries but took the Government to court on the basis that he should have been protected.
Labour MP Ian Austin said: "It is a complete disgrace that a child murderer should be getting what most people would consider a lot of money for what he himself admitted were only minor injuries.
"We have got to get to a position where prisoners are prevented from playing the system and gaining at the taxpayers' expense
"It is impossible to imagine how difficult it must be for the Dowler family."
Mr Austin told Sky News he would be raising the matter with Justice Secretary Chris Grayling in a parliamentary question.
The Ministry of Justice fought the claim for three years after it was launched by Bellfield but finally had to admit it was liable. Durham County Court made the compensation award on Wednesday.
A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said it was "hugely disappointed" over the decision.
Bellfield was finally given a life sentence without parole for Milly's murder in 2011, nine years after he snatched the 13-year-old from a street in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey.
It is thought he might be responsible for as many as 20 unsolved attacks on women.
Sentencing him, Mr Justice Wilkins said he was a "cruel and pitiless killer" who had robbed Milly of "her promising life" and "treated her in death with total disrespect".
Speaking after Bellfield was sentenced in 2011, Milly's mother Sally said: "The lengths to protect his human rights have seemed so unfair compared to what we as a family have had to endure.
"I hope that whilst he is in prison, he is treated with the same brutality he dealt out to his victim and that his life is a living hell."