Double killer Private Hire Driver Christopher Halliwell told he will die behind bars and says ‘thank you’
Christopher Halliwell, 52, who is already serving a life sentence for the murder of another young woman, was sentenced for strangling sex worker
A double killer Private Hire Driver thanked a judge as he was handed a whole life sentence after strangling a sex worker to death.
Christopher Halliwell, 52, who is already serving a life sentence for the murder of another young woman, was told he will die behind bars for the murder of Becky Godden, who vanished in 2003.
Retired High Court judge Sir John Griffith Williams, passing sentence at Bristol Crown Court today, described Halliwell’s account of what happened to Becky as a “cock and bull story”.
The judge told the dad-of-three he was “both calculating and devious” before handing down the “life means life” sentence.
As Halliwell was led away he said: “Thank you.”
Wiltshire Police/PARebecca GoddenHalliwell led police to Becky Godden’s body after she went missing several years before
Halliwell had already confessed to the murder of Sian O’Callaghan, 22, who he abducted in his taxi as she made her way home from a night out in Swindon in March 2011.
He took police to her body before offering “another one” and leading them to where he had buried Becky, who had gone missing in 2003.
How killer minicab driver Christopher Halliwell who strangled sex worker almost escaped justice despite CONFESSING to murder
Halliwell later denied murdering Miss Godden but was convicted following a two-week trial at Bristol Crown Court, in which he represented himself.
He smirked at Miss Godden’s family as the jury of six men and six women returned their verdict following less than three hours of deliberations.
Christopher HalliwellChristopher Halliwell smirked as the guilty verdict was delivered on Monday
PAChristopher HalliwellChristopher Halliwell represented himself during the trial at Bristol Crown Court
Sentencing Halliwell, the judge said: “Your account of the circumstances in which she met her death bears all the hallmarks of a contrived explanation designed to avoid conviction in the hope that the minimum term you are presently serving will not be increased.
“But the account in which you advanced so glibly with little or no regard to the truth made no sense at all.
“I have had the opportunity of observing you throughout the trial and listening to your evidence.
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“I have no doubt that you are a self-centred and domineering individual who wants his own way. You are both calculating and devious.”
The judge said he was satisfied Halliwell knew Miss Godden and their relationship was “not conventional” but that he was “controlling” and “took advantage of her vulnerability as a drug addict and prostitute”.
SWNSJohn Godden, father of murdered Becky Godden, talks to media outside Bristol Crown CourtJohn Godden, father of murdered Becky Godden, talks to media outside Bristol Crown Court
SWNSJohn Godden, father of murdered Becky Godden, talks to media outside Bristol Crown CourtJohn Godden, whose family was praised by the judge for their conduct throughout the trial
In the early hours of January 3, 2003, Halliwell drove up to outside the Destiny and Desire nightclub in Swindon and “summoned” Miss Godden, the judge said.
“That could only have been because you wanted her to go with you for sex, but she was clearly not interested. A row developed during which she yelled at you, clear evidence that she did not want to go with you.
“She returned again to her friend but you did not drive off and so it was that she went to your taxi and got into a rear seat. Rebecca Boast describes her as ‘huffed’ – that is to say annoyed – and I conclude she joined you unwillingly.
“You then drove to somewhere private, most probably to the south of Swindon and to Savernake Forest, where eight years later you took Sian O’Callaghan.
“What happened then must be a matter of inference. I take at my starting point the evidence of your injuries when you were examined later that day by your GP – a broken little finger and scratches to your face.
“I reject your evidence that you had been involved in a fight with a would-be passenger. I conclude you must have attacked Rebecca Godden – that attack must have been prompted by her refusing you sex.
“When she put up a struggle you killed her. You clearly intended to kill her. I add that I am certain she struggled desperately in an attempt to save her life but she was physically no match for you.”
Wiltshire PoliceA KILLER taxi driver yesterday (Weds) claimed two mystery drug dealers buried a prostitute he is accused of murdering.Halliwell during police interview where he attempted to bargain with officers
Wiltshire PoliceA KILLER taxi driver yesterday (Weds) claimed two mystery drug dealers buried a prostitute he is accused of murdering.The killer taxi driver was “controlling” and “took advantage of Becky”
The judge said Halliwell then buried Miss Godden’s naked body – having first removed her clothing to destroy forensic evidence – in an “isolated” field.
“When on March 24, 2011, you realised you had no chance of avoiding detection for the murder of Sian O’Callaghan, you very briefly allowed the little conscience you have to prompt your confession to the murder of Rebecca Godden.
“I consider that but for that confession, there is every prospect that Rebecca Godden’s remains would not have been found, but such mitigation that provides is overweighed by your subsequent behaviour.
“Following your arrest you answered ‘no comment’ to all questions and you have since sought to manipulate, first to the police investigation and then the court process, in a futile attempt to avoid the punishment you so richly deserve.”
Before he was sentenced, Halliwell, who was wearing an open neck pale blue shirt rolled up to his elbows, refused the opportunity to offer any mitigation.
The judge told Halliwell he had robbed Becky of a “potentially fulfilling life” and put her family through “anguish”.
“I have concluded both murders involved the abduction of the victim and sexual conduct and both were aggravated by the concealment of the bodies,” he said.
“I am satisfied your offending is exceptionally high and satisfies the criteria for a whole life term. Were I to impose a minimum term it would be of such length that you would in all probability never be released.
“I sentence you to life imprisonment and direct there will be a whole life order.”