A BRUTAL killer who lured his former partner to a derelict pub has been found guilty of her murder.

It took a jury of five men and five women less than three hours to unanimously find Christopher Taylor guilty of 29-year-old Maggie Smythe’s murder.

There were shouts of “yes” from the bus station cleaner’s friends and family in the public gallery as the verdict was announced.

Taylor’s brother, 29-year-old Brian Ottley was also unanimously convicted of assisting an offender.

They had cut up Maggie’s body in an attempt to dispose of her after the killing in the early hours of January 26.

The Honorary Recorder of Bolton, Judge Martin Walsh, thanked the victim’s family for their dignified behaviour throughout the two week trial at Bolton Crown Court and as the verdicts were announced.

Taylor, aged 40, now faces a life sentence but Judge Walsh has to decide the minimum length of time he will spend behind bars.

Taylor and Ottley, both of Greenroyd Avenue, Breightmet, will be sentenced on September 6.

They stood emotionless in the dock as the verdicts were given but, after they were led away, banging noises were heard coming from the cells in the court basement.

During the trial the jury heard how labourer Taylor consistently lied to police, claiming he had not been in contact with mum-of-three Maggie for weeks.

But in reality he had messaged her the night she disappeared , saying he was moving out of the area and needed to see her.

Maggie left the Swinside Road, Breightmet, home she shared with her mother, Susan and was never seen alive again.

After murdering Maggie, Taylor made several trips back to the Red Bridge Tavern where he buried her body beneath a paving slab and pile of builder's rubble.

He severed her left arm and leg as well as her head and he and his brother carried them away in bags and a case.

Six weeks later her leg was found by a dog walker at the former Longsight Golf Course.

A pathologist was unable to establish the cause of death without Maggie's head, which has never been found.

When his lies began to be exposed — CCTV emerged of him walking towards the pub with Maggie and his semen was found in her body — Taylor admitted he had killed her, claiming he had hit her with a single punch after an argument, and pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

But his offer to help police find Maggie's head was bogus. Despite an extensive search of a reed bed beside The Bunk lodge, where he claimed he had buried it, nothing was found and experts concluded it was probably never there.

Following the conviction Andrew O’Gara from the Crown Prosecution Service said: “Christopher Taylor murdered Maggie Smyth after luring her out of her home in the middle of the night to meet up with him.

“He impeded the police investigation by telling them an abundance of lies, including saying he had not seen Maggie for over a month, that he did not have a mobile phone and that it was not him on the CCTV footage with her on the night she went missing. These lies delayed the recovery of her body by seven days whilst her family were desperately searching for her.

“Taylor later offered a guilty plea to manslaughter on the basis that during an argument he lost his temper and had punched her once to her forehead. However, we worked closely with the police to build a strong case against both men, including telephony, CCTV and DNA evidence which we presented before the court. 

"This has resulted in the jury finding Taylor guilty of carrying out the murder and his brother, Ottley, guilty of helping him attempt to cover it up.

“My thoughts are very much with Maggie’s family and friends at this time.  I hope that today’s verdicts bring them a sense that justice has been served.”