Becky Godden death: Mum says minister to review arrest rules

Karen Edwards
Image caption Becky Godden's mother, Karen Edwards met Damian Green to ask him to review arrest guidelines

The mother of a woman whose remains were found in a field in the Cotswolds says the minister for policing has promised to review arrest rules.

Karen Edwards said following a meeting, Damian Green agreed there are "grey areas" in police procedures.

The body of her daughter, Becky Godden, was discovered at Eastleach, Gloucestershire, in 2011.

Christopher Halliwell led police to her grave but was not prosecuted after detectives ignored arrest guidelines.

Mrs Edwards has organised a petition calling for a review of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) and wants the arrest rules to be more flexible.

She said she is "so excited" that Mr Green has agreed to review the issue.

She said: "He agreed that there are lots of grey areas. I just cannot believe today. I was not expecting it to go as smoothly as it did.

"Someone asked me if this was going to be another Sarah's Law [the campaign to allow access to names on the sex offenders register]. Who knows?"

Swindon MP Robert Buckland has been tasked by Mr Green to prepare a review of current procedures.

Ignored guidelines

Image caption Becky Godden's body was discovered at Gloucestershire in 2011

Halliwell, 48, was jailed for life in October with a tariff of 25 years for the murder of Sian O'Callaghan, 22, from Swindon.

After leaving Suju nightclub in March 2011, Miss O'Callaghan got into his taxi.

Halliwell drove his victim to Savernake Forest, near Marlborough in Wiltshire, where he killed her. He later dumped her body close to the Uffington White Horse in Oxfordshire.

Shortly after confessing to Miss O'Callaghan's murder, Halliwell led police to Miss Godden's body but he was not taken to a police station to be read his rights by Det Supt Steve Fulcher.

High Court judge Mrs Justice Cox later said Det Supt Fulcher's decision to ignore PACE guidelines was "significant and substantial".

It led to Halliwell only facing charges over the murder of Miss O'Callaghan and not Miss Godden, also known as Becky Godden-Edwards, who had been missing for eight years.

Since the case, Wiltshire Police has apologised to Ms Godden's family, while Halliwell's daughter has appealed to him to tell the family what happened.

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