Claire Holland: Man suggested to undercover officer he cut up ex-partner

A court sketch of Darren Osment in the stands at Bristol Crown Court
Darren Osment allegedly told an undercover police officer he killed his ex-partner Claire Holland

A pub chef accused of murdering his ex-partner suggested to an undercover police officer that he killed her, cut up her body and dumped her remains in water, a court heard.

Darren Osment, 41, is accused of murdering Claire Holland in a drunken argument hours after she was seen leaving a pub in Bristol in June 2012.

The mother-of-four, 32, has not been seen since and her body never found.

Mr Osment, of Chessel Drive, Patchway, denies her murder.

Jurors at Bristol Crown Court have been played recordings of conversations between Mr Osment and the officer, who was deployed between December 2020 and July 2022, posing as a man called Paddy O'Hara.

The court heard Mr O'Hara and Mr Osment would spend many hours together playing pool or snooker, going for walks or engaging in supposed criminality.

All their conversations were covertly recorded.

Mr Osment allegedly started to confide in Mr O'Hara about what had happened to Ms Holland, discussing alibis, and potentially trying to blame other people, the court heard.

In one conversation, he allegedly suggested to Mr O'Hara that as a trained chef he had "knife skills" and ran his hand across his torso while making a swishing sound to indicate he had cut up Ms Holland's body.

On the tape, Mr O'Hara appears to ask Mr Osment if he had disposed of the body in the water and "why it hasn't floated to the top".

Mr Osment allegedly responded by telling him there had been a "massive overflow" at the time and suggested it had been "weighed down".

The defendant later told Mr O'Hara he had got rid of the weapon by putting it in the knife box of another chef he was working with at the time, the court heard.

He allegedly goes on to tell him: "It's what it is, but it's all, all done, done and dusted.... everything's gone, everything's gone."

The court heard that by this point Mr Osment knew he was under suspicion for murdering Ms Holland because he had been arrested by detectives and released on bail.

He was then informed no further action would be taken against him, and the pair begin discussing his release from bail.

He allegedly told the undercover officer: "I don't think there's nothing else that's gonna pop up.

"They shouldn't ever have to question me again."

The trial continues.

Follow BBC West on Facebook, X and Instagram. Send your story ideas to: