Colin Sutton is a former Metropolitan Police detective who came to public prominence by leading the investigations on several high profile cases such as serial killer Levi Bellfield and rapist Delroy Grant who were both subsequently convicted of their crimes and are currently serving life sentences. Sutton retired from the police force in 2011 and has gone on the write the book Manhunt, documenting the Levi Bellfield case. The book was adapted into a television series for ITV in 2019, starring Martin Clunes as the detective.
Colin Sutton was born in Enfield, North London on the 11 November 1960 where he grew up. His father was a police constable on traffic and his mother worked for a local solicitor’s firm. During his school days, he played football and cricket and even got to play representative football for the Enfield Schools’ team. He left school with 11 O-levels and 3 A-levels and secured a place at Leeds University to read law. However, he did not want to be a lawyer so he gave up university a year later and went on to join the Metropolitan Police in 1981, following in the footsteps of his father and great-grandfather.
Colin is now happily retired from the police force and lives with his wife Ellen and their three dogs in East Anglia. He spends his leisure time restoring cars and enjoys Motorsport in all its forms, including taking part in rallies. He and his wife have two children and one grandchild. Their son has followed the family tradition of becoming a Met Police Officer.
Colin is regarded as one of the most successful detectives of his generation. His outside the box thinking
and ability to work under extreme pressure were key in the captures of Grant and Bellfield, two of the highest profile criminal cases of the last 50 years as well as many of his other cases.
Sutton began his police career as a PC in Tottenham between 1981 and 1983, then went on to become Sergeant at Paddington Green during 1985, after spending the whole of 1984 at the Police Staff College, Bramshill, Hampshire on the Special Course.
He was promoted to Inspector in December 1985 and served at Leyton for 8 months, after which the Met sent him to university again where he completed his law degree at University College London. He graduated in 1989 with an LLB 2:1 Honours.
He then served at Holloway as a uniform Inspector 1989-1992, Islington as a Detective Inspector 1992-1994, at Area Headquarters 1994-1995 then Chingford as acting Detective Chief Inspector 1995-1996. In May 1996, he transferred on promotion to West Yorkshire Police, where he served as a divisional DCI in Bradford until November 1997 after which he became Head of Force Intelligence at Wakefield HQ.
in 2000, he returned to the south of England and joined Surrey Police as a DCI Senior Investigating Officer for 2 years, then in September 2002, returned to the Met where he was a DCO SIO until he retired in January 2011.
Police Career Highlights
Sutton worked on several high profile and difficult cases during the course of his 30 year career. These included, most famously, the case of Levi Bellfield who was initially convicted of the murders of Marsha McDonnell and Amélie Delagrange, and the attempted murder of Kate Sheedy. Whilst serving life for these crimes, Bellfield was also tried and convicted of the murder of Milly Dowler. Sutton received a Commendation for ‘exceptional leadership, detective ability, perseverance and dedication to duty’ following the successful investigation and conviction in this case.
Following his retirement from the police force in 2011, Sutton began to write about his experiences. His first book, Manhunt, was released in 2019 to much critical-acclaim and it went on to be the inspiration behind the TV series of the same name for which he served as a writer. The series was recommissioned for a follow-up to be aired in 2020.
Unable to resist the pull of his 30-year career, Colin also appears on TV as an expert/presenter on crime.