Serial killer Levi Bellfield’s plans to marry in jail prompted a Government review on Thursday as Boris Johnson said he was “sickened and appalled”.
Justice Secretary Dominic Raab is taking urgent legal advice to see if there is a way he can block the application by Bellfied to marry his fiancee, said to be a prison visitor in her 40s whom he has befriended while in the high security Frankland jail in county Durham.
Even if he cannot stop it, Mr Raab said the Government’s planned new British bill of rights would aim to close the loophole that allowed criminals like Bellfield to marry in jail under article 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
“This is exactly the kind of case where we need written down in UK law a clear set of criteria, that shouldn’t be trapped by an elastic interpretation of human rights,” he told The Telegraph.
“I think most people will think it defies common sense that the Government today can’t insist, in relation to Category A high security prisoners, the proper safeguarding consideration is taken into account so they can protect the public and respond accordingly.
“So this is exactly why we’re introducing a new Bill of Rights to replace the Human Rights Act, and that’s why and how we’ll introduce more common sense into the system.”
Bellfield has applied for permission to marry the woman prison visitor while he is serving two whole life orders for murdering Marsha McDonnell, Amelie Delagrange and Milly Dowler. He is said to have got down on one knee to propose in front of prison staff.
It is understood the woman began corresponding with Bellfield after he wrote to her two years ago. She now visits him weekly, according to The Sun newspaper.