Constantia businessman Rob Packham found guilty of wife's murder

2019-05-20 15:34
Rob Packham takes the stand during the murder trial of his wife, in the Western Cape Supreme Court in Cape Town, South Africa on April 15, 2019. Picture: Gallo/Netwerk24

Rob Packham takes the stand during the murder trial of his wife, in the Western Cape Supreme Court in Cape Town, South Africa on April 15, 2019. Picture: Gallo/Netwerk24

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The Western Cape High Court on Monday found Constantia businessman Rob Packham guilty of killing his wife Gill in February 2018 and attempting to defeat the ends of justice by setting her car and body alight.

He was expressionless as judgment was handed down.

Judge Elize Steyn found that the totality of evidence pointed overwhelmingly to his guilt and that the State had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.

She found that the State witnesses had been honest, consistent and credible.

Packham had showed himself to be an "accomplished liar". His response to the eyewitnesses' testimony was unpersuasive, unreasonable and therefore, rejected.

When he went on trial two months ago, Packham pleaded not guilty to the charges.

He told the court that he had searched frantically for his wife when she did not pitch up at her workplace on February 22, 2018, and that it had been a very dark and emotional time.

While admitting that he had been in a relationship with another woman while married, Packham said he was committed to his marriage and that they had been intending to renew their vows.

His ex-girlfriend testified that she had told him he "loved his life, but not his wife", and that they had spoken about their future together.

Detectives swept the Packham home in Riesling Road for clues following his arrest, after his wife's charred remains were found in the boot of her burnt-out BMW at the Diep River train station in Cape Town.

They found blood in the garage, where the couple had parked their BMW and Audi Q5, and on the inside front door handle of the driver's side of Packham's Audi. Both blood specimens belonged to Gill.

Blood found in and around the basin of the en suite bathroom was found to belong to the accused.

Detectives said he had never explained the presence of this blood.

While on the stand, Packham said there were innocent domestic reasons for its presence - his wife had cut her hand while moving the recycling and was also known for injuring herself while gardening.

The State said Packham had never offered a plea explanation and could not give plausible explanations for his version and his actions during relevant times.

Prosecutor Susan Galloway maintained that he had found himself in a corner because of his affair and had killed his wife - making up cover stories along the way, getting rid of evidence, and setting it up to look like a hijacking.

He will return to court on Tuesday for sentencing proceedings.

Read more on:    rob packham  |  cape town  |  courts

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