Man guilty of murdering Maggie Smythe in Bolton

|News, Violent crime

A 40-year-old man has been found guilty of murdering his ex-partner, whose remains were found in a former pub's car park.

His 29-year-old brother has been found guilty of assisting an offender for helping him dispose of her body and clothing.

Maggie Smythe, 29, went missing from her home overnight on 26 January 2019 after receiving numerous messages from her ex-partner, Christopher Taylor, telling her that meeting up with him would be in her ‘best interest'.

The following morning, Brian Ottley, was captured on CCTV footage with his brother, Taylor, visiting the former Red Bridge Tavern building site on Bury New Road, Bolton and returning several times throughout day carrying items such as a ladder and a fishing bag and climbing over a fence to a lake next to the pub.

On 1 February 2019 Maggie Smythe's remains were found hidden under rubble in the car park of the former pub where Taylor, a cash-in-hand builder, had been working, renovating the site into residential plots.

Andrew O'Gara for the CPS said: "Christopher Taylor murdered Maggie Smyth after luring her out of her home in the middle of the night to meet up with him.

"He impeded the police investigation by telling them an abundance of lies, including saying he had not seen Maggie for over a month, that he did not have a mobile phone and that it was not him on the CCTV footage with her on the night she went missing. These lies delayed the recovery of her body by seven days whilst her family were desperately searching for her.

"Taylor later offered a guilty plea to manslaughter on the basis that during an argument he lost his temper and had punched her once to her forehead. However, we worked closely with the police to build a strong case against both men, including telephony, CCTV and DNA evidence which we presented before the court.  This has today resulted in the jury finding Taylor guilty of carrying out the murder and his brother, Ottley, guilty of helping him attempt to cover it up.

"My thoughts are very much with Maggie's family and friends at this time.  I hope that today's verdicts bring them a sense that justice has been served."

Notes to editors

  • Andrew O'Gara is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for North West CPS

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