Monday, June 27, 2011

Schoolgirl was almost grabbed like murdered girl but lazy British police didn't act for 3 years

The girl who was almost kidnapped the day before Milly Dowler was murdered has accused police of blundering and robbing her of justice. Rachel Cowles was stopped in the same road as Milly by a chubby man in a red car as she walked home from school aged 11. She refused a lift. She repeatedly tried to report the incident to police, but they refused to take it seriously and didn't even take a statement for three years.

Last Friday the jury deliberating a charge of attempted abduction by Milly's killer Levi Bellfield was discharged without reaching a verdict.

Yesterday Miss Cowles, now a 21-year-old student nurse, told the Daily Mail: 'I am very angry and hurt, and I feel I have been robbed of justice. '[When the jury was discharged] I burst into tears. 'This whole thing has been very difficult and frightening, both recognising Bellfield in court and giving evidence. 'I just want to be able to draw a line in the sand and move on.'

Seconds after Miss Cowles refused a lift from the man in 2002, a police car passed and he sped off.

Miss Cowles and her parents John and Diana were convinced that her would-be attacker was Milly's killer.

For three years, every time there was an appeal about the unsolved murder or a new press report appeared, Miss Cowles's mother would ring Surrey Police and offer to make a statement about the stranger. Each time, she was told the force had no record of previous calls, that this one would definitely be logged and someone would call back – but they never did.

Miss Cowles added: 'I feel very lucky that I got away. When it came out about Milly it really hit me that it could have been me. 'I genuinely felt that I could put [the experience] to good use to help find Milly's killer.'

Her mother, 50, a secondary school science technician, said: 'It had to be more than a coincidence that Rachel was approached on the road where Milly went missing. 'Two girls, in two days – surely there had to be a connection? 'The police weren't taking us seriously.

'In the end we had to write to the chief constable, and it was only then, three years later, that they came to take Rachel's statement.'

Miss Cowles, in smart navy uniform and striped tie, with a dusting of freckles on her cheeks and brown eyes, bore an uncanny resemblance to Milly as she walked to her home in Shepperton, Surrey, in March 2002.

She said the driver beckoned her over, but soon after 'a police car drove towards us on the opposite side of the road and I think it spooked him and he sped off'.

Original report here

(And don't forget your ration of Wicked Thoughts for today. Now hosted on Wordpress. If you cannot access it, go to the MIRROR SITE, where posts appear as well as on the primary site. I have reposted the archives (past posts) for Wicked Thoughts HERE or HERE or here

No comments: