Levi Bellfield 'joked about Milly Dowler'

Milly Dowler
Image caption Milly Dowler disappeared as she walked home from a railway station after school in March 2002

The man accused of killing Milly Dowler "disappeared" on the day the schoolgirl went missing, the Old Bailey has heard.

Levi Bellfield's former partner Emma Mills said that when she asked him days later where he had been, he joked: "What, do you think I've done Milly?"

Milly, 13, was last seen leaving Walton-on-Thames train station, in Surrey, in March 2002.

Bellfield denies murder. He also denies trying to kidnap 11-year-old Rachel Cowles in March 2002.

Miss Mills, 33, gave her evidence from behind a curtain, which shielded her from her former partner in the dock.

'Wearing different clothes'

When asked about the day Milly went missing, she said: "He disappeared. His mobile was off. I was trying to get in touch with him because I didn't have any money and I needed to get some bits from the shop.

"Normally he would ring me or I would ring him, on and off during the day, to see what I was doing.

"He didn't ring me at all until later on. I didn't see him past lunchtime."

Miss Mills told the court she lived with Bellfield at a flat in Walton-on-Thames but on the day Milly went missing they were house sitting in west London.

She said that she had a 40-second conversation with Bellfield at 1738 GMT and a longer call later that evening and Bellfield returned to the house at 2200 or 2300 GMT.

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Media captionLevi Bellfield's former partner Emma Mills has been giving evidence at his trial

She said: "He was wearing different clothes from those he had on in the morning. They would have been from the flat in Walton."

When asked if she had questioned him, she said: "I did but I would never get a straight answer and even if he did tell me something I would never know if it was the truth."

She said they went to bed but she woke up to find him getting dressed.

"It was around three or four in the morning and he said he was going back to the flat to have a lie-in. He took the dog with him."

Miss Mills said the following day Bellfield told her he wanted to move back to West Drayton, in west London, where they had previously lived.

When he dropped her off at the flat she found "there were no sheets or pillow cases on the bed - no duvet cover".

'So awful'

She said: "I rang him. He said the dog had had an accident on the bed. I didn't believe him for a second. He said he put the sheets in the rubbish because they could not be washed."

Image caption Bellfield denies abducting and murdering Milly

The family moved out of the flat the following day, two days after Milly's disappearance.

A week later Miss Mills asked Bellfield what he had been doing that day. She said: "I was asking him again about the Thursday he'd gone off, because I thought he was with another woman.

"He said 'Oh, why do you keep going on? What, do you think I've done Milly?' I didn't ask him. It's just so awful."

The prosecution claims Bellfield murdered Milly in the flat before dumping her body. Her remains were found in woods 25 miles away six months later.

Bellfield, a former wheelclamper and bouncer, was convicted in 2008 of murdering Marsha McDonnell, 19, Amelie Delagrange, 22, and attempting to murder Kate Sheedy, 18.

The trial continues.

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