Taxi driver sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Sian O’Callaghan

19/10/2012

Christopher Halliwell, 47, a taxi driver from Swindon has pleaded guilty today at Bristol Crown Court to the murder of Sian O'Callaghan, 22 who disappeared after a night out with friends. He has been sentenced to life imprisonment and will have to serve a minimum of 25 years before being eligible for parole.

Following the guilty plea, Hannah Squire Crown Advocate for CPS Wessex said; "Today, Christopher Halliwell has pleaded guilty to the murder of Sian O'Callaghan.

"We welcome this guilty plea as it spares Sian O'Callaghans family the additional ordeal of a trial. 

"Sian was heading home just before three o'clock in the morning of Saturday 19th of March after spending the Friday evening out with her friends.

"that was the last time Sian was alive.

"CCTV footage shows Sian leaving Suju Night Club in Swindon and walking towards home.

"The footage shows a taxi pulling up alongside Sian. When the taxi pulls away Sian can no longer be seen.

"Christopher Halliwell worked as a taxi driver in Swindon. That night he finished his shift just after 2.00 am but he was seen on CCTV repeatedly circling the streets of Swindon Old Town in the early hours of 19th of March.

"It was his taxi that stopped next to Sian just before 3.00am as she walked in the direction of her home.

"Christopher Halliwell abducted Sian O'Callaghan, drove her out of Swindon and then he murdered her.

"At 3.25am, Kevin Reape, Sian's boyfriend, sent her a text message asking where she was as he was worried because she had not come home. He never received a reply. The phone signal was traced to an area in the Savernake Forest close to Marlborough.

"Sian O'Callaghans body was discovered six days later on the 24th  March 2011 close to the White Horse at Uffington.

"Today Halliwell has been sentenced to life for Sian's murder.

"We would like to thank Sian O'Callaghans family for their patience and dignity throughout these court proceedings.

"Our thoughts are with Sian's family and friends at this difficult time."