Murdered Sian O'Callaghan's family feel 'raw pain'

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Media captionWatch: Sian O'Callaghan's father, Mick O'Callaghan, thanks the police in his first public statement

The father of murdered Sian O'Callaghan has said the family's pain at hearing of her death was "raw and overwhelming".

The body of Miss O'Callaghan, 22, from Swindon, was found near Uffington, Oxfordshire, five days after she went missing.

Her father, Mick, also paid an emotional tribute to her as he faced the media for the first time.

A man appeared in court earlier charged with her murder.

Mr O'Callaghan, flanked by his son Liam at a press conference, described his daughter as "bubbly, caring and friendly".

He said: "She was instantly likeable, beautiful and considerate.

"Although our pain at this time is raw and overwhelming, our memories of Sian will be a comfort to us in the dark days ahead."

'Incredibly touching'

Speaking on behalf of Sian's mother Elaine, Sian's brothers Liam and Aiden and her sister Lora, Mr O'Callaghan thanked their friends, Wiltshire Police and the people of Swindon for their support during the search for her body and since it was recovered on Thursday.

Image caption Miss O'Callaghan's older brother Liam attended the press conference with their father

"Words cannot express how comforting this has been for us," he said.

"The sheer number of people involved in the searches, the vigil, the flowers, the lantern lighting and the murals to Sian are incredibly touching and beautiful. Thank you."

He ended by asking for privacy for the family "for the coming difficult months".

Christopher Halliwell, 47, of Ashbury Avenue, Swindon, is accused of killing Miss O'Callaghan.

He was remanded in custody by Swindon magistrates to appear before Bristol Crown Court on 30 March.

The hearing was delayed for some 15 minutes after angry scenes outside the court building.

Prison van

A group of about 50 people surrounded the van, believed to contain Mr Halliwell, as it arrived at the court building.

The hearing was eventually moved to a different court room for security reasons following the protests.

There was a further outburst from the public gallery as he was taken from the dock.

A crowd outside the court screamed abuse and tried to attack the prison van as it left court, with police officers struggling to hold them back.

Miss O'Callaghan disappeared after leaving the Suju nightclub in Swindon a week last Saturday following a night out with friends.

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Media captionThe BBC's Louise Hubball says crowds ran towards the prison van carrying Christopher Halliwell

Mr Halliwell was arrested by Wiltshire Police on Thursday and charged on Saturday night with killing the 22-year-old secretary from Swindon.

Meanwhile in separate developments, experts continue to examine a body found near the village of Eastleach in Gloucestershire, 17 miles from where Miss O'Callaghan's body was discovered.

The remains, thought to be those of a woman aged between 23 and 30, have yet to be formally identified.

Det Supt Steve Fulcher of Wiltshire Police, who is leading the investigation, said forensic laboratory tests and a post-mortem examination were being carried out.

He said it had been indicated to him that the woman was taken from the Swindon area between 2003 and 2005.

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