Packham sentenced to 22 years

2019-06-18 06:01
Rob PackhamPHOTO: Jaco Marais

Rob PackhamPHOTO: Jaco Marais

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Constantia businessman Rob Packham (58) was sentenced to 22 years behind bars in the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday 12 June.

Judge Elize Steyn sentenced Packham to 20 years in prison for the murder of his wife, Gill, and an additional four years, of which two years is suspended, for defeating the ends of justice.

Packham was accused of murdering Gill and putting her body in the boot of her car before setting it alight at the Diep River Railway Station.

Alarm was raised when Gill did not arrive for work at Springfield Convent School in Wynberg‚ where she was a secretary.

Diep River police spokesperson Constable Zak Marais says from the preliminary investigations, licence-plate recognition cameras showed Packham driving his wife’s BMW‚ and cellphone towers showed he spent the day of her disappearance driving around the Constantia area.

“During the late afternoon, he was reportedly seen driving away from the burning car. When firefighters extinguished the flames police found Gill’s charred body in the boot but a post-mortem report showed she was killed by blunt force trauma to the head.

Packham was arrested after preliminary forensic investigations were completed, but released on bail.

However, he was then re-arrested after breaching his bail conditions and attempting to contact and influence state witnesses.

Packham was again released on further bail of R75 000 and more stringent bail conditions being set by judge Nathan Erasmus.

Despite the bail conditions being set, Packham allegedly continued to intimidate and harass crucial state witnesses.

After a number of consultations between the investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Ivan Sonnenberg, and the state prosecutor, Susan Galloway, an application was made for him to be arrested for the breach of his bail conditions and intimidation of state witnesses.

In December, Erasmus authorised a warrant of arrest where Packham was then re-arrested and kept in custody throughout the duration of his trial.

After a lengthy court process, Packham was found guilty on Monday 20 May.

“Diep River police management applauds Detective Sergeant Ivan Sonnenberg as the lead investigator in this case for his diligence and proper investigation resulting in a positive conviction for the murder accused Rob Packham,” says Marais.

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