Taxi driver charged with Swindon murder

A taxi driver accused of murdering Sian O'Callaghan after she disappeared from a nightclub will appear before magistrates in Swindon today. Christopher Halliwell, 47, was charged by detectives on Saturday night after the 22-year-old's body was discovered close to the Uffington White Horse in Oxfordshire on Thursday.

The development comes as detectives continue an extensive search of a field in Gloucestershire where another set of human remains was found on Saturday. Police believe they are the bones of a woman aged between 23 and 30 who was abducted in Swindon between 2003 and 2005. Further forensic tests and a post-mortem examination are being carried out on the body, which is yet to be identified.

Simon Brenchley, district crown prosecutor for the CPS in Wiltshire, said yesterday he had authorised Wiltshire Police to charge Mr Halliwell, of Ashbury Avenue, Swindon, with Ms O'Callaghan's murder. Mr Halliwell, who was arrested on Thursday, remained in police custody at Gablecross Police Station last night.

Police have been digging on Baxter's Farm, near Eastleach in the Gloucestershire Cotswolds, since Thursday evening. Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher, who is leading the investigation, said the search at the site was expected to continue for the time being. He said: "Bones recovered from the site at Eastleach are believed to be that of a young woman. It has been indicated to me that this young woman was taken from the Swindon area some time between 2003 and 2005."

He repeated his appeal for anyone out poaching or "lamping" in the area of Ramsbury, near Marlborough, in the early hours of Saturday 19 March – the night Ms O'Callaghan disappeared – to contact police without fear of arrest. Lamping is the practice of hunting animals with the aid of powerful lights and either guns or dogs.

Ms O'Callaghan, a PA for a company director, was last seen alive in CCTV footage filmed close to Suju nightclub in Swindon after a night out with friends. She lived in a flat only half a mile away with her boyfriend Kevin Reape, 25. Her body was recovered from an area 15 miles east of the town.

On Saturday night, thousands of people gathered to remember Ms O'Callaghan at Swindon's Polo Ground. They launched hundreds of Chinese lanterns and balloons and held a two- minute silence. Suju nightclub reopened on Saturday after hundreds of floral tributes were removed.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn