Milly Dowler could have run away after finding her father’s pornography collection and been killed later by an unknown person, it has been claimed in court today.

Defending, barrister Jeffrey Samuels making his closing speech, said: “No Milly on CCTV, no Bellfield, no forensic evidence and no eye witnesses to an abduction or aftermath.

“That’s why the prosecution say the focus should be on Bellfield and his movements.

“It is because, we suggest, they are trying to get you to focus on what his ex-girlfriends Emma Mills and Johanna Collings now allege, coupled with his convictions, to distract you from what we say is the complete lack of direct, real evidence to link him with these crimes.”

Levi Bellfield sat in the dock wearing a blue short-sleeved T-shirt with white stripes, while Milly Dowler’s family sat nearby.

Mr Samuels asked the jury to consider Milly’s notes and ‘goodbye letter’, which included a note saying: “By the time you find this letter I will be gone.”

He said: “Ask yourself whether you are sure that you can exclude the possibility that her disappearance, at least initially, may be explained by the content of those two documents.”

He queried the timing of Milly’s stay at the Travellers Cafe at Walton station, pointing to evidence about when mobile phone calls were made.

He also claimed schoolmate Katherine Laynes may been “spectacularly mistaken” when she said she saw Milly starting the walk home along Station Avenue.

He said: “If she’s mistaken about these features, times and the rucksack, why can’t she be mistaken about her identification of Milly?”

He added: “If Katherine Laynes is right, where is Milly on the CCTV?”

Witnesses who were in the station car park testified that they had not seen Milly or Bellfield, he told the court.

He said: “How can that be? Does this not point inexorably that Milly did not disappear at that time or place?”

He also said searches of Bellfield’s flat in Collingwood Place had not shown any blood, hair or other evidence Milly had been killed inside.

Mr Samuels also said there were discrepancies in the case against Bellfield allegedly attempting to abduct Shepperton schoolgirl Rachel Cowles, the day before Milly disappeared.

He said there were differences in details about the number of child seats and whether Bellfield wore a beard and hooped earrings or not, in the evidence given by Rachel Cowles and Emma Mills.

He said: “Again, the evidence changed.”

The trial continues.