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Taxi driver admits Sian's murder
A taxi driver has admitted that he murdered nightclubber Sian O'Callaghan.
Father-of-three Christopher Halliwell, 48, of Ashbury Avenue, Swindon, pleaded guilty to the charge during a hearing at Bristol Crown Court.
Miss O'Callaghan, 22, disappeared after leaving Swindon's Suju nightclub in the early hours of March 19 last year after a night out with friends.
Hundreds of volunteers turned out at Savernake Forest to help in the search for her but police found her body in Uffington, Oxfordshire, on March 24.
Miss O'Callaghan left the nightclub at 2.53am for the short walk to the home she shared with boyfriend Kevin Reape. Shortly after she walked past the Goddard Arms on the High Street in the Old Town area, she fell into Halliwell's clutches by getting into his taxi.
On the night the office worker disappeared, Halliwell had signed off from work but, instead of going home, he cruised the streets of Swindon in his green Toyota Avensis taxi looking for a victim. The court heard that he took Miss O'Callaghan to Savernake Forest where he murdered her.
Police discovered that, in the 24 hours after Miss O'Callaghan was abducted, Halliwell made four visits to the area where her body had been hidden. Prosecutor Ian Lawrie QC told the court: "He had carried out a reconnaissance for a possible deposition site for Sian O'Callaghan."
By the early hours of March 21, Halliwell had moved Miss O'Callaghan's body from Savernake Forest to the spot where it was later found. He then attempted to cover his tracks by cleaning his car and burning his seat covers.
Within three days Halliwell was the prime suspect for Miss O'Callaghan's kidnap and he was placed under 24-hour surveillance.
Miss O'Callaghan's body was found laying face down and naked from her waist to her ankles. A swab taken from an injury to her left breast subsequently revealed a mixed DNA profile with components from Halliwell - therefore showing him to be a possible contributor, the court was told.