Mourners line route of Sian O'Callaghan funeral

The BBC's Jon Kay said that several hundred wellwishers gathered on the streets of Swindon

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Hundreds of people have lined the streets of Swindon for the funeral of Sian O'Callaghan, who was found dead after going missing during a night out.

Miss O'Callaghan, 22, vanished after leaving the Suju nightclub in the Wiltshire town on 19 March.

Her body was found on 24 March by police searching a field near Uffington in Oxfordshire.

Christopher Halliwell, 47, of Ashbury Avenue, Swindon, is charged with Miss O'Callaghan's murder.

Miss O'Callaghan's funeral is a private ceremony but the cortege, with a police escort, passed slowly through the Old Town area of Swindon, allowing the public to pay their respects.

More than 500 people lined the streets. As the cortege approached, well-wishers threw flowers on to the hearse and others fought back tears.

Sian O’Callaghan Sian O'Callaghan's body was found near Uffington, Oxfordshire

Susie Rathbone was one of those paying tribute.

She said: "A lot of us have already been touched by what's happened to Sian and to her family.

"I think that we all felt it could have affected any one of us.

"I came here today to show my support to the family and that Swindon does care about these people."

Kylie Montgomery, 22, a former schoolfriend of Miss O'Callaghan, said: "We went to school together and we were in a couple of classes together.

'Horrible circumstances'

"We drifted apart after school but she was a fantastic and amazing woman.

"And now she's just been taken. It's so sad in just such horrible circumstances."

Fellow schoolfriend Melloney Welch, 23, said: "Sian was just a friend of everyone's.

"If anyone knew her they only had good things to say about her.

"Today was just lovely that so many people came out to pay their respects."

Swindon's mayor Rex Barnett earlier said he hoped people would turn out in their thousands to pay their last respects.

"Swindon is a wonderful town and community - to have this among us is not good.

"We'll really show our respects to the family and the young lady as well."

Mr Halliwell is due to appear before Bristol Crown Court on 14 July.

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