One of the UK’s most notorious serial killers has been offered a COVID-19 jab before millions of Britain’s elderly and most vulnerable — a move condemned as a “national scandal,” according to a report.
Levi Bellfield — who murdered three people, including 13-year-old Milly Dowler — received a letter offering him a vaccine in the coming weeks even as the program has only just been rolled out to those over 70, The Sun said.
David Spencer, of the Centre for Crime Prevention, called it “a national scandal.”
“The notion of criminals being prioritized over law-abiding citizens says everything about the way our criminal justice system is run at the moment,” he told The Sun.
Former Home Secretary David Blunkett said it defied belief “that prisoners, let alone a child murderer, should be given any opportunity for an early vaccine dose.”
“I hope the Justice Secretary will step in immediately and find out why scarce vaccine doses are being deployed in this way — and whose idea it was.”
Bellfield, 52, is serving two whole-life terms, meaning he has to spend the rest of his life behind bars with the chance of parole.
Most regular Britons remain under strict lockdowns in their homes because of the raging pandemic, with some care home residents among the millions of vulnerable still waiting for their shots.
The killer got the offer in a letter sent to him in top-security Frankland Prison, Co Durham, where he reportedly moaned about not getting it sooner because the pandemic “can spread like wildfire,” putting inmates “in danger,” The Sun said.
It was not clear what other inmates got the same offer at the prison, which houses another notorious child murderer, Ian Huntley, as well as the terrorist who beheaded soldier Lee Rigby in the street, the UK paper said.
The former cop who caught Bellfield — and whose memoirs are the basis of the TV show “Manhunt” — called the offer of an early jab “appalling.”
“Prison staff, police officers, teachers, shopworkers and delivery drivers — people who are keeping us going — should be prioritized,” former Detective Chief Inspector Colin Sutton told the UK paper.
After the outrage, a Ministry of Justice source insisted to The Sun that “there is no vaccine priority for prisoners, nor will there be.”
“No minister has seen this letter or thinks criminals should get better access to vaccines than the law-abiding majority,” the source said.
A spokesman for the ministry also insisted, “To suggest prisoners are being treated any differently to the general public is complete nonsense.”