Taxi driver charged with Sian murder
Sunday 27 March 2011
A man will appear in court tomorrow charged with the murder of Sian O'Callaghan.
Christopher Halliwell, 47, who was arrested by officers in a swoop on a taxi rank in Swindon on Thursday, was charged last night with killing the 22-year-old PA.
Miss O'Callaghan disappeared from the Suju nightclub in Swindon last Saturday. Her body was discovered close to the Uffington White Horse in Oxfordshire on Thursday.
Yesterday police revealed they had removed all the remains of a second body found at a site near Eastleach, Gloucestershire. They are believed to belong to a woman aged between 23 and 30 who died between 2003 and 2005.
In a statement released today, Wiltshire Police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said Halliwell had been charged at 9.20pm yesterday with Miss O'Callaghan's murder.
Simon Brenchley, district crown prosecutor for the CPS in Wiltshire, said: "I must remind the media to take care in reporting events surrounding this case. Mr Halliwell has been charged with a serious offence and is entitled to a fair trial. It is extremely important that nothing should be reported which could prejudice any trial.
"I will keep liaising closely with the police as their investigation continues."
Halliwell remains in police custody at Gablecross Police Station in Swindon.
Meanwhile, police officers and forensics experts continue to search a field in Gloucestershire where they found the remains of a second woman. Her identity has yet to be revealed.
Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher, who is leading the investigation, said today: "Bones recovered from the site at Eastleach in Gloucestershire are believed to be those of a young woman with an estimated age between 23 and 30.
"It has been indicated to me that this young woman was taken from the Swindon area between 2003 and 2005.
"The remains will now be subject of further forensic laboratory tests and a post mortem examination.
"The police search at the site is expected to continue for the time being."
The press were given further access to the scene at Eastleach this afternoon. Holes that had been dug in the ground had been filled in and a sole mechanical digger was helping a small team of forensic officers sift through a mount of soil for clues.
Detective Sergeant Mike Rees, who was in charge at the scene, confirmed the bones found had all been taken away for testing.
"It has been a painstaking process," he said.
"Everyone has put in long hours. We want to make sure we do not miss any evidence."
While the identity of the Eastleach body is unknown, the focus remains on the death of Miss O'Callaghan.
Supt Fulcher today repeated his appeal for anyone out "lamping" or poaching in the Ramsbury area near Marlborough at anytime from 3am on Saturday March 19 to contact police without fear of arrest.
Miss O'Callaghan was last seen alive in CCTV footage filmed close to Suju in the early hours of last Saturday after a night out with girl friends.
She lived in a flat just half a mile away with her boyfriend Kevin Reape, 25.
She had sent a text message to her partner on the night of her disappearance, saying: "Where are you? x."
Her body was recovered from an area 15 miles east of Swindon. It is believed that her body was dumped there several days after she went missing, as the media coverage and public hunt for her intensified.
Police revealed earlier this week that phone records put Miss O'Callaghan's mobile somewhere in the forest 34 minutes after she left Suju nightclub at 2.52am on Saturday.
Halliwell was arrested on Thursday after police swooped on a taxi rank at an Asda supermarket in Swindon. A green Toyota Avensis with taxi markings was also taken from the scene.
Police have been digging on Baxter's Farm, in the Gloucestershire Cotswolds 17 miles from where Miss O'Callaghan's body was discovered, since late on Thursday evening.
Last night as many as 10,000 attended a lantern vigil at Swindon's Polo Ground, where Chinese lanterns and balloons with messages of condolence were sent flying into the night sky. Hundreds of floral tributes were left outside Suju before being cleared away last night as the nightclub reopened for the first time since Miss O'Callaghan's disappearance.
Halliwell is due to face Swindon magistrates tomorrow.
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