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A woman who believes she was attacked by serial killer Levi Bellfield has criticised police for failing to tell her of his alleged confession earlier this year. Sarah Spurrell accused Sussex Police of treating her as a "complete and utter joke" after the vicious assault in January 2004. She only found out about Bellfield's confession this month after being told by ITV News London.
The medical technician was hit three times over the back of the head in a dark street in the seaside town of Hastings, East Sussex. Speaking exclusively to ITV News London Sarah recalled the moment of the attack. "I remember it like it was yesterday... I was walking to my friend's house to collect my stuff for work the following week and a white car passed me three times," Sarah said. "I thought it was a bit suspicious so it drew my attention straight away to the fact there was something going on. "I didn't think too much of it until I literally was almost at my friend's house up the road and I was smacked over the back of the head. "Initially I thought it was someone in a bad mood with me and someone punching me in the back of the head. "But before I could turn around and look who it was I was then hit another two times really, really hard to the point where I heard the blood hit the car next to me. "Luckily a car came round the corner and pretty much saved my life and he [the attacker] ran off down the road," she explained.
Sarah said her attacker turned back and looked straight at her as she was driven to the hospital. She also remembered seeing "evil" in his eyes. She added: "Even though he was wearing a balaclava, his size, his build, his eyes they were evil - whoever it was wanted to kill me.
"If police had given me people to identify and he [Levi Bellfield] was in it, I would have told them straight away that was the person who attacked me whether he had a balaclava on or not." Bellfield, 55, of West Drayton, London will spend the rest of his life in prison after being convicted of three murders.
His victims included schoolgirl Milly Dowler, 13, of Hersham, Surrey, who disappeared in 2002. Her badly decomposed body was found six months later. He is also said to have admitted killing student Elizabeth Chau, 19, who vanished in Ealing in April 1999. Police are thought to be considering a fresh search for Elizabeth’s body at a nature reserve in Kempton after Bellfield indicated on a map where her remains were buried. Sarah Spurrell said the attack on her ruined her life and she suffers from anxiety after police treated her case like a "joke".
Below: Sarah recounts the moment she was attacked on Laton Road in Hastings
Sarah said: "I asked if they could go and investigate the crime scene and they turned and said 'we're not CSI - the police haven't got that much money'. I got really angry." Sarah said she used to be outgoing and confident but now feels scared and insecure. "It took me years to get over and be able to go outside my house without someone holding my hand," she explained. Sarah said she was angry that police didn't tell her about Bellfield's alleged confession and said she just wants justice. "Police treated it as a joke from the start and didn't go and collect any evidence even though I asked them to. "They have no evidence because they didn't do any investigating! They failed me right from the start - who else have they failed?" Levi Bellfield is thought to be the only criminal in UK legal history to be serving two whole-life orders. He was given a whole life term for murdering Marsha McDonnell, 19, in 2003, murdering Amelie Delagrange, 22, and trying to murder Kate Sheedy, 18, in 2004. He was already serving his sentence when he went on trial for killing schoolgirl Milly Dowler, who was snatched from the street walking home from school 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. Sarah Spurrell dismissed concerns that Bellfield's confession in March 2023 of attacking her may not be true and might be a case of him attention-seeking from behind bars. She only found out about the confession in May after being told by ITV News London. Colin Sutton, a former detective chief inspector who brought Levi Bellfield to justice, described him as an extreme narcissist, egotist and a violent bully.
He first flagged Bellfield as a potential suspect in Sarah's case back in 2008.
Sutton said he was the most dangerous person he ever met and police still had a duty to help and support any of his potential victims, including Sarah Spurrell. He said: "I think where you have got crimes for which nobody else has been convicted or charged then there is a duty on police to do two things. "One of those is to go and speak to Levi Bellfield who is admitting them and see what he has to say and see if there is any truth in his admissions. "Secondly, more importantly, go back to the survivors, back to the victims and tell them what you're doing and offer them the support and help so they can continue to live their lives in the light of what they now know." Sussex Police said their investigation remained open and the force was "sorry" Sarah felt the service she received "was not satisfactory".
A statement read: "The investigation remains open into the attack on a woman in Laton Road, Hastings, on 11 January 2004. "The victim reported being approached from behind and hit on the head before her attacker fled. Later that night there was another similar attack in the town. "Officers attended Laton Road to identify a scene and carry out a search for a potential suspect or weapon. "An investigation was launched and enquiries were completed at the time. "We are in contact with the victim of this assault and we are sorry that she feels that the service she received at the time was not satisfactory. "This remains an active investigation and we will be keeping the victim updated as we review information that has recently come to light, which has yet to be corroborated. "Anyone with information is asked to contact Sussex Police online or by calling 101 at any time. Information can also be passed anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."
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