Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Killer's 25-year term to stand

Taxi driver Christopher Halliwell was jailed for at least 25 years after he murdered Sian O'Callaghan

Court of Appeal judges have ruled against raising the minimum jail term imposed in the case of a taxi driver who abducted and murdered a young woman after she left a nightclub.

Three judges in London ruled that the 25-year tariff imposed at Bristol Crown Court in the case of Christopher Halliwell was not unduly lenient.

Halliwell, 48, was jailed for life in October for the murder of office worker Sian O'Callaghan - the minimum term is the least time he must serve behind bars before becoming eligible to apply for parole.

The case was referred to the Court of Appeal by Attorney General Dominic Grieve.

Father-of-three Halliwell, of Asbury Avenue, Swindon, Wiltshire, admitted the murder of 22-year-old Miss O'Callaghan, who was killed after she left a nightclub in Swindon, following a night out with friends in March last year.

Miss O'Callaghan's disappearance made national headlines and hundreds of people volunteered to help search for her.

A post-mortem examination found she died from the combined effects of two stab wounds to the head and neck, as well as compression to the neck.

Lord Justice Pitchford, announcing the ruling of the court, said that the Crown Court judge was "entitled" to reach the decision she had when setting the minimum term.

He said the appeal court could not conclude that the term was unduly lenient.

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