Wiltshire

Becky Godden killing: Taxi driver 'besotted' with victim

Becky Godden (also known as Becky Godden Edwards) Image copyright Wiltshire Police
Image caption The court heard Becky Godden's remains were found in a field in Gloucestershire after Christopher Halliwell had taken police to the location

A taxi driver accused of murdering a woman whose body was found "hidden in the middle of nowhere" was "besotted with her", a court has heard.

Christopher Halliwell, 52, denies killing Becky Godden between 1 January 2003 and 3 April 2008.

Jurors at Bristol Crown Court heard Mr Halliwell was "a regular customer" of Miss Godden, who was a sex worker, and "would pay her money not to work".

He is serving a life sentence for murdering Sian O'Callaghan in 2011.

Miss O'Callaghan went missing after a night out with friends in Swindon.

Her semi-naked body was discovered in undergrowth in Uffington, Oxfordshire, while the remains of Miss Godden were found in Eastleach, Gloucestershire in 2011.

Image caption Christopher Halliwell, previously of Ashbury Avenue, Swindon, is representing himself in court

A former Swindon prostitute, referred to in court as Miss X, said Miss Godden had a "regular customer who drove a taxi" who she referred to as "the taxi driver".

"Becks called the taxi driver Chris," she said.

"He was a bit besotted with her... he would pay her money not to work."

'It's definitely you'

Jurors heard that the defendant had been a client of Miss X on two occasions but had asked her "not to mention" it to Miss Godden.

"I would obviously recognise him because I've been up close and personal with him," she said.

When asked by Mr Halliwell, who is representing himself in court, if he was the taxi driver - Miss X replied: "It's definitely you."

He later told the court: "I've never seen that woman before... it is a fairytale."

Miss Godden's mother, Karen Edwards, told the court she was a "very bright girl" who was "always top of the class".

She told jurors her daughter was 15 when she discovered evidence of heroin in her bedroom and after that she began to "disappear, sometimes for months".

Ms Edwards said she had last seen her in 2002 but only became worried when her daughter's 21st birthday "came and went" with no contact.

She said she "always got a Mother's Day card from Becky, wherever she was" but she did not get one in 2003 "or any year after that.".

The case continues.

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