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'Sick' killer offered 'another one' before leading police to field, court told

Published 06/09/2016

Becky Godden's body was found in a field in Gloucestershire in 2011 (Wiltshire Police/PA)
Becky Godden's body was found in a field in Gloucestershire in 2011 (Wiltshire Police/PA)

A convicted murderer told a detective he was a "sick f*****" then led him to a remote field where he had buried a sex worker years earlier, a court heard.

Christopher Halliwell, 52, allegedly made the comment as he confessed to strangling missing Becky Godden, 20, more than a decade ago.

Bristol Crown Court heard the taxi driver was under arrest for kidnapping Sian O'Callaghan, 22, who he later admitting stabbing and strangling in 2011.

Both Miss O'Callaghan and Miss Godden disappeared from outside nightclubs in Swindon, Wiltshire after getting into Halliwell's taxi, it is claimed.

In March 2011, Miss O'Callaghan's body was discovered in undergrowth in Uffington, Oxfordshire, while Miss Godden's remains were found in Eastleach, Gloucestershire.

The court heard Halliwell, formerly of Ashbury Avenue, Swindon initially confessed to killing Miss Godden and led police to the "exact spot" where he had buried her.

He has since pleaded not guilty to her murder and his trial, expected to last for four weeks, began in front of a jury of six women and six men.

Nicholas Haggan QC told the jury that Halliwell was serving a life sentence with a minimum term of 25 years after pleading guilty to Miss O'Callaghan's murder.

While at the site of Miss O'Callaghan's remains, Halliwell offered Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher of Wiltshire Police, "another one", Mr Haggan said.

The prosecutor alleged that Halliwell told Mr Fulcher: "we need to have a chat", before going on to tell the detective: "I am a sick f***. Is it too late to get help?".

Halliwell is said to have informed Mr Fulcher he would show him the "exact spot" where Miss Godden's body was buried, adding: "I know you are not a psychiatrist but what the f***'s wrong? Normal people don't go round killing each other."

It is alleged that Halliwell confessed to taking Miss Godden from the streets of Swindon between 2003 and 2005 and strangling her after they had sex.

He then directed officers to Oxo Bottom field in Eastleach, where the skeletal remains of Miss Godden - later identified by DNA - were discovered, the court heard.

Mr Haggan told the jury: "The defendant says he didn't murder Rebecca Godden. We say it cannot be clearer that he did. There isn't a shred of doubt, not even a slither."

Miss Godden had started using Class A drugs and became a sex worker in her mid-teens, operating in the Manchester Road area of Swindon.

She was last seen getting into a taxi outside Destiny And Desire, a nightclub in the town, in early January 2003 - possibly January 3 - by friend Rebecca Boast.

At 5.25am on that morning, Halliwell logged a call with the RAC reporting that his Volvo S80 had run out of fuel on the A361 at Inglesham, near Lechlade-on-Thames.

"In the early hours of the morning on January 3 he had driven to a spot not a million miles away from Eastleach," the prosecutor said.

"You might want to ask yourself what Mr Halliwell was doing on the A361 at Inglesham in the early hours of the morning of January 3 2003."

That afternoon, Halliwell went to his GP, Dr Philip Mayes, complaining of a swollen right hand and was diagnosed with a suspected fractured finger.

In his notes, Dr Mayes recorded that Halliwell had multiple scratches to his face and appeared "emotionally distressed".

Halliwell is said to have told the doctor that he was assaulted by a man who took exception when he refused to pick him up from the street in his taxi.

Mr Haggan claimed Halliwell's employment diary did not have him working between January 1 and January 4. The matter was not reported to police.

The court heard Trevor Puffitt claimed to have seen Halliwell and Miss Godden arguing at the Victoria Inn in Eastleach in 2003.

Halliwell is alleged to have been a regular client of Miss Godden and spoke about her to another Swindon prostitute, referred to in court as Miss X.

After his arrest in March 2011, he is said to have told police doctor Nasir Ali: "I have killed two people."

Soil samples taken from a spade recovered from Halliwell's shed matched four locations, Mr Haggan said.

These were Halliwell's two homes in Swindon, Oxo Bottom field where Miss Godden's remains were discovered and her grave.

In police interviews in February 2015, Halliwell appeared to offer a deal in which he would admit Miss Godden's murder if police then left him alone, it is alleged.

He later is said to have told his daughter Natasha Halliwell: "I got it off my chest. I've offered them, as far as I'm concerned the goose that lays the golden egg. And they've let it fly away."

Halliwell is representing himself during the trial and carried his own bundle of documents into the dock.

Relatives of Miss Godden, including her mother Karen Edwards, her husband Charlie, and Miss Godden's father John Godden, listened to proceedings.

Miss O'Callaghan's boyfriend Kevin Reape, and her mother Elaine Pickford, also sat in the public gallery.

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