Taxi driver accused of murdering a sex worker claims he never knew her

Taxi driver accused of murdering a sex worker claims he never knew her
Christopher Halliwell

A killer taxi driver accused of murdering a sex worker in the UK has insisted to a jury that he never knew her.

Christopher Halliwell (aged 52) is alleged to have strangled Becky Godden, 20, and buried her in Oxo Bottom field in Eastleach, Gloucestershire, in 2003.

He is currently serving a life sentence with a minimum term of 25 years after admitting stabbing and strangling officer worker Sian O'Callaghan, 22, in 2011.

Bristol Crown Court has been told Halliwell initially confessed to strangling Miss Godden and led police to the exact spot of her remains.

Taxi driver accused of murdering a sex worker claims he never knew her

Halliwell, formerly of Ashbury Avenue, Swindon, Wiltshire, has since pleaded not guilty to murder and is representing himself at his trial.

Giving his closing speech from the dock, Halliwell told the jury: "Let's look at the so-called evidence the prosecution have.

"Two former drug addicts who contradict themselves repeatedly in their statements.

"An RAC mechanic who remembers nothing. Rebecca Boast who was such a good friend of Rebecca Godden she didn't report it for three years and nine months.

"She didn't see the taxi driver's face. Trevor Puffitt who stood in the witness box and said in a very vague manner that it was me.

"The forensics evidence so poorly presented to the forensic lab, so poorly examined it is not worth mentioning. It is rubbish."

The court heard Halliwell confessed to strangling Miss Godden and led police to her shallow grave at Oxo Bottom field.

He is said to have felt for a dip in a wall and paced to a spot in the field before telling officers "she's here".

"The reference point was the concealed dip in the wall," Halliwell told the jury.

"How could anyone take a reference from a dip in the wall that is invisible? Do I need to say more?"

He then looked at the judge and said: "Thank you my lord, I am finished."

Halliwell previously told the jury that two drug dealers were responsible for burying Miss Godden in 2003.

He claimed he drove the two men - who he refused to identify - to Oxo Bottom field after they told him something "went wrong".

The father-of-three insisted he had left the men and a large sports bag in the field and returned an hour later to collect them.

Months later, one of the men informed him that they had buried a prostitute from Swindon, he told the jury.

Prosecutors allege that Halliwell was one of Miss Godden's clients and murdered her after becoming possessive.

Two former sex workers, known only as Miss X and Miss Y, gave evidence that Halliwell knew Miss Godden in the lead up to her disappearance.

Miss Boast last saw Miss Godden getting into a taxi outside Destiny And Desire nightclub in Swindon in January 2003.

Mr Puffitt told the court he saw Halliwell being aggressive to Miss Godden at a pub in Eastleach in about 2003.

"I never knew Rebecca," Halliwell told the jury. "I certainly didn't take her for a drink."

Halliwell called the RAC after running out of fuel in the early hours of January 3, 2003 near Highworth - close to Eastleach.

Later that day, he visited his GP with a suspected fractured finger and scratches to his face.

Soil samples found on a shovel in Halliwell's garden shed matched those taken from the grave site at Oxo Bottom field.

Retired High Court judge Sir John Griffith Williams is due to sum up the case to the jury on Monday.

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