'Animal' murdered ex before dumping dismembered body in lake and pub car park

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An ‘animal’ murdered his ex before dumping parts of her dismembered body in a lake and pub car park.

Christopher Taylor, 40, has been jailed for life after the brutal murder of mum-of-three Margaret Smythe in January.

Margaret’s head and arms have never been found after the killer, helped with his brother Brian Ottley, 29, disposed of her body in pieces.

Taylor, from Bolton, was sentenced to life with a minimum of 24 years in front of Margaret’s heartbroken friends and family at Bolton Crown Court today.

Ottley, 29, of no fixed address, was sentenced to nine years in prison after being found guilty of assisting an offender, reports the Manchester Evening News .

Bus station cleaner Margaret was last seen at her home on Saturday, January 26, on Swinside Road in Breightmet, Bolton.

Margaret was murdered and dismembered by Taylor

 

She was then ‘lured’ to the Red Bridge Tavern on Red Lane, Breightmet, by Taylor at around 5am after he sent her ‘numerous texts’.

The builder told her he needed to speak to her ‘urgently’ as he was leaving Bolton.

Taylor then murdered her, before leaving the scene around 7am.

Hours later, Taylor and Ottley returned to the lake behind the derelict pub carrying fishing gear and a bag.

It’s one of three visits they made to the lake behind the Red Bridge Tavern over the next few days.

The court heard these visits were made to dispose of her body.

Police visited Taylor’s home later that day, and he claimed he hadn’t seen her for ‘weeks’. He said he couldn’t contact her because he didn’t have a phone.

Brian Ottley helped dispose of Margaret’s body with his killer brother

 

Police discovered some of Maggie’s remains on February 1 in a shallow grave under rubble in the car park of the Red Bridge Tavern.

The left leg and arm were missing and she had been decapitated.

Maggie’s leg was later discovered in Longsight Park in March.

Despite police’s best efforts, her head and left arm have never been found.

A saw covered in clumps of Maggie’s hair was discovered nearby.

‘It is possible’ she was dismembered using that weapon, a judge concluded.

A post mortem proved ‘inconclusive’ due to the way she was dismembered.

Defending Taylor, Alistair Webster QC, said there was ‘no evidence of previous violence in the relationship’.

Defending Ottley, Ian McMeekan said that at the time of the murder he was homeless and living with Taylor.

Other parts of her body were dumped outside a pub

 

He said Taylor ‘exercised a bullying influence on his life.’

Judge Martin Walsh, sentencing, described the murder as ‘heartless and chilling’.

Addressing Taylor, he said: “You are the only person who knows exactly how and in what circumstances Maggie met her death, but you have declined to offer any explanation. You denied responsibility in interview and you declined to give evidence during the course of the trial.

“What is certain, however, is that you are responsible for murder. The attempt to dispose of the body and to cover up for what had happened was nothing less than grotesque, heartless and chilling.”

In a heartbreaking victim impact statement read to Bolton Crown Court on Friday, her mum Susan Smythe said she still visits the bus station she worked at ‘still waiting for Maggie’.

The statement, read to the court by Guy Gozem QC, said: “The last seven months have been a living hell.

“We have lost a daughter and a sister in the most horrendous circumstances imaginable.

Maggie was slaughtered with parts of her body being dumped in a lake

 

“I have no words to describe them other than animals. Through all of this we still don’t know all the answers.

“More importantly, we don’t have all of Maggie back.

“To have her taken away from us is bad enough, but her missing her head and body parts has meant I couldn’t even go to view my daughter either. There is no closure for us as a family until all of Maggie has been found.

“I visit the bus station still waiting for Maggie to come out of work to have a brew and a cigarette with me.

“They have taken everything away from us and the only thing we have left us memories. They will never be able to take those away.”

In a tribute released by the family following the sentencing, they said: “Maggie was a loving mother and aunt to her three children and niece. She was bright and bubbly and a best friend to all of us.

“She would do anything for anyone. Maggie would give you her last pound if you needed it.

“Maggie had her whole life ahead of her. Her loss has changed our lives forever and is something we will never get over.

Margaret was tragically lured to her death

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“We visit the places Maggie used to go. We all still expect her to walk through the door and be the loveable girl that we all knew and loved.

“Her loss has left a hole in all our lives but our memories of Maggie will never be taken away.

“We will cherish them forever.

“We will always love her and we all miss her incredibly.”

Det Insp David Meeney, of GMP’s Major Investigations Team, said: “Maggie was taken from her family in the most cruel and callous way imaginable at the hands of Taylor, whose actions were nothing short of monstrous.

“Taylor and Ottley consistently manipulated the truth to cover up what happened to Maggie and where they buried her remains. They have stripped Maggie’s family of the opportunity to lay her properly to rest, which has caused the family unbearable heartache.

“These men have caused irreparable damage and pain to Maggie’s family, but I hope her loved ones get some comfort in knowing that Taylor and Ottley are now behind bars where they belong.”



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