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Becky Godden’s mother speaks of ‘devastation’ – over murder

In a victim-impact statement, Becky Godden’s mother, Karen Edwards, described the day – which would have been her daughter’s 29th birthday – when officers broke the news that the young woman’s remains had been found.

Taxi driver Chris Halliwell was given a full life term on Friday for murdering Godden in Swindon, almost four years after he was jailed for killing another woman in 2011. He will never be released from prison.

Edwards said: “My world had fallen apart, shattered in seconds, and that emotion I have woken up with every day since. That feeling of total devastation, disbelief, loss, pain, the flash of sudden panic that hits me in the stomach and just repulses me. It has changed my world. The world as I knew it has been totally destroyed and will never be the same, complete, ever again.”

Becky Godden's mother speaks of 'devastation' - over murder
Becky Godden’s mother speaks of ‘devastation’ – over murder

Edwards added: “It is such an effort some days just to get up and function. My thoughts every day are of my little girl. The little girl that can never be replaced. What must she have gone through that night? Anyone who is a mother or father, your instinct is to protect your children. I see her photo, when I open my eyes, on my bedside table, and all around the house I see my beautiful child, Becky.

“I will never be able to give her a hug ever again and make things right for her, or take her shopping, brush her hair, have a moan at her for not keeping her room tidy or taking my makeup. No waiting up half the night for a phone call to pick her and her mates up after a night out.”

“The only thing I can buy her is flowers for her grave. I kneel down beside her grave still disbelieving she is there. I have only been told she is dead,” she said.

“I never had a body to kiss goodbye before she was buried. But of course she had already been buried, in a lonely field in the middle of nowhere, for years. Just left to rot. She was brought back home in that coffin. I was told not to open it and the reason for that was because all that was in it was just my daughter’s bones, and part of Becky’s skeleton.

“Where was her head? Well that has never been found … I stayed with her coffin for three weeks until the day of her funeral.”

Edwards, who married her husband, Charlie, when Godden was a teenager, said he was worried she would take her own life in order to be reunited with her daughter.

“Charlie watched over me after the news had been delivered. I said that I couldn’t live without Becky and that I wanted to be with her. I have a belief in the afterlife and I felt that if I died, too, I could be with her.

“My need to be with Becky became greater than my need to be here. Charlie worried if I went out and was late home. He thought I would take my own life. I was so mentally fragile.

“I always planned that when Becky got married I would give her a wonderful wedding and she would have made a beautiful bride. I did not anticipate a funeral would replace her wedding day. Even that has been taken away from me. I miss her so much every day. I envy other mothers when I see them with their daughters.

“Then I feel guilty for feeling like that, but I have had that pleasure taken away from me, never to be had again, and as for grandchildren that Becky may have given me in the future, that too has been denied.

“Since Becky was found, my future has become very different. Tell me, how can anyone get over such an enormous ordeal and loss? Just pictures and memories, a broken heart and a grave. That is all I have left of my beautiful daughter.”

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