Local accused of murdering wife

2018-03-13 06:00
Robin Packham in the dockPHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

Robin Packham in the dockPHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

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Having been married for 30 years, a Constantia man stands accused of murdering his wife.

The 57-year-old father of two, who is a general manager, was arrested at his home in Constantia by Diep River police after his wife had been missing for a week.

He is facing charges of murder and defeating the ends of justice.

His wife, Gill Packham, disappeared on Thursday 22 February.

She allegedly left home for work at Springfield Convent School at around 07:00 but never arrived at work. Her car, a greenish BMW, was later found near Diep River Station with her charred body in the boot.

Robin Packham made his second appearance at the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Friday where he applied for bail. He was granted bail of R50 000 and has to adhere to strict bail conditions.

Appearing before Magistrate Goolam Bawa, Packham looked calm. The State said it will not be opposing bail given that the matter has been discussed with his defence attorney and strict bail conditions set.

Part of his bail conditions are that he remains under house arrest until Friday 30 March.

He has to remain at home except when he goes to work or attends his wife’s funeral, should the family agree.

He has to hand over any travel documents issued to him. He may not leave the province and may not come within 1 km of any international port of entry. He is requested by the State to report every Monday and Friday to the commanding officer of the Community Service Centre at Diep River Police Station between 08:00 and 20:00

In Robin’s affidavit, read out by his attorney, Ben Matthewson, he said that it was in the interest of justice that he be granted bail. The couple has two daughters, one aged 27 who is a teacher and engaged to be married, and the other aged 25 who graduated last year from Stellenbosch University.

“My children need me especially at this difficult time. Being in jail will mean that they have lost both their mother and father. I need my children as much as they need me. I’m still responsible for my daughter and she needs my help to secure employment. I’m on chronic medication and being imprisoned will see my health deteriorate and I can lose employment. I don’t object that my passport be held,” the affidavit read.

The case has been postponed to Tuesday 8 May for further investigation. An identity parade still needs to be held, a forensic analysis of the crime scene still needs to be done, information must be gathered from cellphones and the alibi of the accused must be obtained, and the State says it still needs more time to do this.

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