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  1. ITV Report

Sally Anne Bowman: Man wrongly jailed says police could have prevented killing

Romano van der Dussen (l) and Mark Dixie (r).

Murdered teen model Sally Anne Bowman would "still be alive today" if it hadn't been for Spanish police, according to a man wrongly jailed for her killer's crimes.

Romano van der Dussen believes Miss Bowman would not have been killed if Mark Dixie had been picked up for a number of previous sex attacks for which the Dutchman was blamed.

Those assaults against a number of women came three years before Miss Bowman was raped and repeatedly stabbed in 2005.

But by 2003 Mr van der Dussen had been wrongly jailed - spending 12 years in prison despite Dixie's 2008 conviction for murder and DNA evidence supporting the Dutchman's release.

Speaking to ITV London, Mr van der Dussen said he believed incompetence on the part of Spanish police had cost Miss Bowman her life.

Sally Anne Bowman was killed in 2005.

Mr van der Dussen's comments came after Dixie, 47, already serving 34 years for Miss Bowman's murder, was handed two additional life sentences on Friday.

These were imposed after Dixie admitted in 2015, while in jail, to Miss Bowman's killing along with the rape of two other women.

One of those took place when Dixie was just 16.

Mr van der Dussen was in attendance at Southwark Crown Court to see Dixie handed a minimum of 28 years for the two sex assaults.

Mr van der Dussen blames the Spanish police.

Mr van der Dussen told ITV London he should not have been detained by Spanish police in 2003.

Had they released him earlier and tracked down the real culprit, Miss Bowman may not have been attacked, he said.

Mr van der Dussen said: "They should have released me. Then automatically they should have opened a new investigation.

"Arresting this Dixie bloke he would have been banged away in a Spanish prison and then this poor girl, Sally Anne, would have been alive."

Dixie was jailed for a minimum of 34 years for Miss Bowman's death.

Mr van der Dussen had been in Spain for a year when he was identified by one woman as her attacker.

But apart from a physical resemblance to Dixie, there was no CCTV footage or DNA evidence to suggest Mr van der Dussen was guilty.

Sentenced to 15 years in jail, Mr van der Dussen served 12 years before being released.

This included eight years after Dixie's murder trial, which produced DNA evidence linked to the Spanish attacks.

"This poor girl could have been alive today if it was not for the incompetence of the Spanish police," Mr van der Dussen said.

"If they had done a good job - releasing me, looking for the real culprit - then he could never have done what he did."