The police detective who led the Milly Dowler murder investigation said that he believes her killer Levi Bellfield confessed in hopes to get parole in the future.

Former Detective Chief Inspector Colin Sutton said that he's convinced that the West Drayton man has an "ulterior motive" for his confession.

Sutton told Good Morning Britain on Thursday (January 28): "Well at the moment he can never apply for parole, for a whole-life tariff he’s got, but there was a move a year or so ago to take the idea of whole-life tariffs to the European Court of Human Rights.

"That failed, but it might succeed in the future.

"It wouldn’t surprise me if what he is doing is preparing the ground, hoping that at some point, two years, five years, 10 years, the law changes and he is able to apply for parole, and of course a pre-condition of that would be that he accepts responsibility for what he has done.

“I never thought Levi Bellfield would admit to anything and the cynic in me says there’s a reason. He does everything for reason."

He added: later said: "I was shocked because I never expected Levi Bellfield to confess to anything. Not in his nature, I thought, which makes me wonder if there is some ulterior motive.

"I’m a bit cynical about his motivation for doing this. I hope he wants to clear the slate, I hope he’ll show remorse about everything that he has done."

Video thumbnail, Levi Bellfield's Surrey Police interview
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The news comes as police have revealed they will launch a string of new investigations into murders across the country that could possibly be linked to the murderer.

Levi Bellfield admitted on Wednesday (January 27) that he did rape and kill 13-year-old Milly in 2002 and also confessed to other attacks.

The former bouncer from West Drayton has spent 14 years denying the murder of Milly Dowler, despite being convicted of it in 2011 and serving five years of his prison sentence.

After the announcement of Bellfield's confession, a spokesman for Dowler's family said: “The effect of this information has been devastating for a family which has already had to endure so much.”

Time Line

Death of Milly Dowler

  1. March 21, 2002 - Milly goes missing

    Amanda Dowler, 13, goes missing at around 4pm after leaving Walton train station

  2. March 2002 - Investigation launched

    A search for Milly takes place in the surrounding area, involving 50 police officers and specialist dog teams

  3. May 2002 - Police search rivers

    Dive teams search the rivers Thames, Mole and Wey, as Milly's parents describe living through her disappearance as "a living hell"

  4. August 2002 - False claims

    Police claim unreliable witnesses have made the case "extremely difficult" as officers say they have "not lost hope of finding her"

  5. September 18, 2002 - Milly's body found

    Milly's remains are found in Yateley Heath woods in Hampshire by mushroom pickers

  6. October 2002 - Milly's Fund

    A memorial service is held at Guildford Cathedral and Milly’s Fund is launched to raise awareness of safety among children

  7. March 2003 - £50k reward

    Milly's funeral is held in Walton and police offer a £50,000 reward for information relating to the murder

  8. March 2005 - Levi Bellfield arrested

    Levi Bellfield was arrested on suspicion of killing Milly while awaiting trial for the murders of Amelia Delgrange and Marsha McDonnell and the attempted murder of Kate Sheedy

  9. February 2008 - Prime suspect

    Levi Bellfield is identified as a prime suspect in Milly's murder and found guilty of the other charges.

  10. August 2009 - Evidence given to CPS

    Surrey Police submit a dossier of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service against prime suspect Levi Bellfield

  11. March 2010 - Bellfield charged

    Levi Bellfield is charged with Milly Dowler's kidnap and murder, and the attempted kidnap of Rachel Cowles the day before

  12. May 2011 - Trial of Bellfield

    The trial starts in the case of Levi Bellfield at the Old Bailey as court hears Milly was "gone in the blink of an eye"

  13. June 24, 2011 - Life sentence

    Bellfield found guilty of the kidnap and murder of Milly Dowler and handed life sentence

  14. July-Aug 2011 - Phone hacking

    News of the World accused of hacking into Milly's phone after her disappearance as claims emerge a police officer handed over information

  15. February 2012 - Bellfield loses appeal

    Killer Bellfield loses a bid to challenge his convictions for the kidnap and murder of Milly

  16. July-Oct 2012 - Journalists charged

    Six journalists charged over phone hacking, and two newspapers fined for contempt over trial reporting

  17. June 2014 - Milly's sister speaks out

    In a video message to David Cameron, Gemma Dowler calls for press action after the Leveson Inquiry

  18. January 2016 - Bellfield admits murder

    Levi Bellfield confesses for the first time to "abduction, rape and murder" of Milly Dowler

  19. February 2016 - Details of sick confession

    Dowler family statement reveals full horror of how Bellfield repeatedly raped and then strangled the teenager