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Saturday, 26 March 2011

Chris Halliwell: profile of murder suspect in Sian O'Callaghan investigation

Declared bankrupt last January, the 47-year-old had only been working for Five Star private hire in Swindon for a couple of weeks before he was arrested.
Not new to the taxi scene, he was known by the other local drivers for the fact that he always used to wear a suit to work.
Previously employed by United Radio Cars, he had also tried his hand at construction and window cleaning.
He married wife Lisa in July 1991 and the couple went on to have three children – two daughter and a son.
They met when he was 23 and she was just 16 and lived in the Broad Green area of Swindon with their children.

Yesterday, neighbours in Broad Green recalled a strained marriage.
"They were living together but they weren’t getting on well," said one former neighbour.
“There were problems between husband and wife, then they moved away from here and then after they moved away from here they got divorced.”
Originally a window cleaner, Mr Halliwell lived in a rented flat on the County Road in Swindon before moving into a two-up two down terrace in nearby Broad Street with his girlfriend Lisa Byrne, a shop assistant, in the late 1980s.
Her father, Tony, a builder, and Sylvia, a former bus conductor, lived opposite and the family was staunchly Catholic.
By the time they married at Holy Rood Roman Catholic Church in 1991, Mr Halliwell was working with his father-in-law as a builder.
Neighbours still remember his large transit van parked outside their house.
Dennis Sutton, who married the young couple in 1999, said he knew Lisa's family.
"I do remember the event but didn't really stay in touch with them," he said. "I knew Lisa's family better as they were Catholic.
"I am shocked about all this. You never imagine such things happen so close to home."
The couple later moved a few miles away to Ashbury Avenue, but about five years ago Mr Halliwell moved in with Heather Widdowson, who lived a few doors down.
“He moved away with his missus but then moved in with another woman up the street, she was a bit older than him,” recalled the former owner of the corner shop at Broad Street.
He proudly introduced her to his former neighbours as his "new missus".
Speaking about Mr Halliwell’s arrest, the shop owner said: “He is the last person I would have thought would have done anything like this.
“He was all right, a family man, I used to have a laugh with him, when he moved away he used to pop in.”
Yesterday, the house he shares with Mrs Widdowson, a mother of three daughters, remained cordoned off by the police as forensic teams continued to trawl through the property.
His sister Sarah, from whom he is estranged, said she hadn't spoken to him for nearly 20 years and both their parents are dead.

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