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Dublin: 3°C Saturday 23 January 2021

Milly Dowler detective taken off case after complaints over leak

Fellow officer complained about detective’s conduct, Surrey Police have said.

Undated police image of Milly Dowler released in 2002.
Undated police image of Milly Dowler released in 2002.
Image: PA Photo/Surrey Police

POLICE IN THE UK have confirmed that a detective working on the Milly Dowler murder investigation was removed from the case after a complaint he had mishandled confidential information.

The BBC reports that Surrey Police said the detective was removed from the investigative team after a colleague voiced their concerns “about the conduct of the officer” and accused him of leaking information.

Dowler, 13, went missing as she walked home from school in March 2002 and her body was found six months later. Earlier this year, former nightclub bouncer Levi Bellfield, 43, was convicted of her abduction and murder.

Allegations that a private detective employed by the News of the World hacked the teenager’s phone after her disappearance sparked the latest phone hacking controversy which forced the closure of the News of the World and sparked public inquiries in the UK into the claims.

Investigations have also been launched into claims that police officers received illegal payments from the newspaper.

Earlier this month, media magnate Rupert Murdoch apologised to Dowler’s family. He also signed full-page ads published in Britain’s main national newspapers which bore this apology:

We are sorry for the serious wrongdoing that occurred. We are deeply sorry for the hurt suffered by the individuals affected. We regret not acting faster to sort things out.

The Dowler family’s lawyer Mark Lewis said Murdoch had offered “a heartfelt and what seemed to be a very sincere apology”.

Read more on the Surrey Police story on the BBC >

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