Christopher Halliwell

Christopher Halliwell

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Mr Halliwell was sentenced to life imprisonment on the 19th of October 2012 for the murder of Sian O’Callaghan, with a tariff of 25 years. The full sentencing remarks of Cox J have been published (always a help).

There was a lot of coverage in the press about the fact that charges in relation to a second murder were not proceeded, which we will cover at a later date.

The mandatory sentence for murder is life imprisonment and the Judge took a starting point of 30 years as she was sure that there was a sexual element to it. Balancing the aggravating and mitigating features, the Judge felt that they cancelled out so as to keep the tariff at 30 years. After that, there was the full credit for a plea of guilty (limited in murder cases to 1/6) giving a final tariff of 25 years.

Whatever one makes of the proceedings beforehand, or the merits of the overall sentence, the Judge has given a textbook example of how sentencing remarks are constructed.

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Dan is a barrister at 2 Dr. Johnson’s Buildings practising in crime.

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