The detective, the murders, and what he did wrong

Wiltshire Police Detective Steve Fulcher. Photo: PA

Steve Fulcher is the murder detective who found himself under investigation. He broke the rules to catch a killer. But it was no mistake. He did it on purpose.

Chris Halliwell is currently serving life for the murder of Sian O'Callaghan. Credit: Wiltshire Police

DS Fulcher arrested a serial killer Chris Halliwell in March 2011, and Halliwell admitted two murders - Sian O'Callaghan recently and Becky Godden years before. Halliwell even took DS Fulcher to the bodies. But Halliwell only faced charges over Sian because DS Fulcher had not cautioned the killer properly.

Sian O'Callaghan, murdered in 2011. Credit: Facebook

Sian O'Callaghan had gone missing from a Swindon nightclub. DS Fulcher's team found CCTV of Halliwell's minicab nearby. They put Halliwell under investigation - and watched him burn blood-stained seat-covers. DS Fulcher was sure they had their man.

Police arrested Halliwell - but he refused to speak. So Steve Fulcher took his first gamble. He ordered the suspect be brought to Barbury Castle, Wilts. He thought Sian might be here (alive, he hoped). But he didn't caution the killer in the normal way - instead he pleaded with Halliwell's conscience. And it worked.

So in the wilderness of Barbury Castle Halliwell said, 'Do you have a car? Let's go.' He took police to a roadside verge 20 miles away near the Uffington White Horse. And afterwards he said there was another victim.

Becky Godden-Edwards' body was found in a field near Cirencester. Credit: Wiltshire Police

He directed police on another journey through the countryside to Gloucestershire. He took them to a field near East Leach and said he'd buried a woman here years before. Becky Godden's body was recovered and identified.

But the charge of murdering Becky was dropped as the caution hadn't been given and all the evidence was deemed inadmissible. Halliwell admitted killing Sian, and is now serving a life centre for her murder.

Detective Steve Fulcher has also been found guilty of another count of gross misconduct - speaking to the media (including ITV West Country) in the aftermath of Halliwell's arrest, despite instructions not to do so from senior officers.

Read more: Halliwell sentenced to life