England

Christopher Halliwell may be linked to Claudia Lawrence case, detective claims

Claudia Lawrence Image copyright North Yorkshire Police
Image caption Claudia Lawrence disappeared in York in March 2009

A former detective says a double-murderer he arrested may be linked to missing York chef Claudia Lawrence.

Christopher Halliwell was jailed on Friday for the 2003 murder of Becky Godden, having already been convicted of killing Sian O'Callaghan in 2011.

Ex-detective Steve Fulcher told the Sunday Express Ms Lawrence's case fitted Halliwell's behaviour.

But North Yorkshire Police said they are "not aware" of any evidence to link Halliwell to Ms Lawrence.

She vanished in York in March 2009.

Mr Fulcher told the Sunday Express: "Halliwell's father lived a few streets away from where Claudia went missing.

"It fits his pattern of behaviour - abducting women walking alone either late at night or early in the morning."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Christopher Halliwell has been jailed for two murders

Mr Fulcher resigned from Wiltshire Police in 2014 after being found guilty of gross misconduct for failing to follow the proper procedures when arresting Halliwell in 2011.

The 52-year-old taxi driver from Swindon was jailed for life in 2011 for killing Ms O'Callaghan, whose body was found in Uffington, Oxfordshire.

Becky Godden's remains were also discovered in 2011, in a field in Eastleach, Gloucestershire.

Ms Lawrence was last seen on 18 March 2009 and was reported missing the following day after she failed to turn up for work at the University of York.

North Yorkshire Police believe the 35-year-old was murdered, although no body has ever been discovered.

Following Mr Fulcher's claims in the Sunday Express, a spokesman for the force said: "The investigation team is aware of this matter and they will carefully assess the information in line with the on-going review of the Claudia Lawrence case.

"However, to be clear, the team is not aware of any evidence that would link this individual [Halliwell] to the disappearance and suspected murder of Claudia."

Image copyright North Yorkshire Police/PA
Image caption Claudia's father Peter Lawrence has appealed for information about her disappearance

Martin Dales, friend and spokesman of Miss Lawrence's father Peter, said the claim should be investigated.

He said: "I think the retired officer in question has a detailed knowledge of things. The overriding point is really whoever has done whatever to Claudia, it has been an incredibly long time."


Claudia Lawrence disappearance timeline

  • 18 March 2009 The last sighting of Miss Lawrence as she walks back to her house after a shift at work
  • 19 March 2009 Police are informed of her disappearance after she fails to meet a friend for a pre-arranged drink at a pub
  • 23 March 2009 Her father Peter Lawrence appeals for information about his daughter at a press conference in York
  • 25 March 2009 CCTV footage of the chef's last known movements are released
  • 24 April 2009 Detectives say they are treating Miss Lawrence's disappearance as a suspected murder investigation
  • 6 May 2009 Police reveal they have received more than 1,000 calls about the disappearance and had taken 1,096 statements
  • 6 May 2010 Mr Lawrence calls for an urgent independent inquiry into the police investigation
  • 29 July 2010 Police confirm they are scaling back the number of officers dedicated to the inquiry
  • 29 October 2013 Police announce that a new forensic search of Miss Lawrence's home is to begin as they launch a fresh review of the case
  • 13 May 2014 A 59-year-old man is arrested on suspicion of murder. He is later released without charge in November
  • March-April 2015 Four men are arrested on suspicion of murder and released on bail
  • 8 March 2016 Police say the Crown Prosecution Service has decided the four men will not face charges

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