A JURY has been told that it is “unlikely” that victim Maggie Smythe’s head had been buried at a Firwood Fold lodge.

Christopher Taylor told police that he had buried his former partner’s head in mud at a reed bed at The Bunk lodge at Firwood Fold. He was even taken to the scene from prison to point out the location but, despite an extensive search, nothing was found.

Giving evidence at Bolton Crown Court, forensic archaeologist Timothy Fletcher said, in his opinion the ground had not been disturbed in such a way as to suggest something having been buried and subsequently removed.

"I found nothing to suggest that that had taken place," said Mr Fletcher

The 29-year-old mum’s head has still not been found.

Earlier Det Insp David Meany, who led the investigation, told how, at the end of March, nearly two months after Taylor was charged with murder, police were contacted by his solicitors saying he wanted to disclose where Maggie's missing body parts were and sent them maps.

The disclosure led to a start of a major search of the lodge on May 13.

They were joined in the search by the fire service, Environment Agency and Bolton Council, who oversaw the removal of four trees to better access the site.

Fire crews pumped 68 million litres of water from the lodge to a nearby stream to reduce its level by one metre.

When, nine days later, nothing had been found, Taylor was brought to the lodge.

The jury was told that Taylor, aged 40, of Greenroyd Avenue, commented: "The only thing I can put it down to if it's not here is that little shit of a brother of mine's had it and put it somewhere else, 'cause he was out for two weeks after after me.

"I got arrested and he didn't get charged for two weeks after so he could have been down and took it."

Taylor has admitted the manslaughter of Maggie but denies murder.

His half brother Brian Ottley, aged 29, who had been living with him, denies assisting an offender by helping to dispose of Maggie's body and perverting the course of justice.

The trial continues.