Constantia man accused of killing wife needs to find new lawyer for trial

2018-10-26 11:19
Rob Packham in court on Friday (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

Rob Packham in court on Friday (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

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Constantia businessman Rob Packham, who is accused of killing his wife Gill Packham, has to look for a new lawyer to represent him when his murder trial gets underway in February.

During his pre-trial in the Western Cape High Court on Friday, it emerged that his lawyer advocate Ben Mathewson would not be available.

Judge Mushtak Parker wondered whether advocate Pieter Botha might step in to assist.

Botha represented Rob, 57, when he breached his bail conditions by contacting State witnesses, including a woman with whom he had been having an extramarital affair.

Read: Court hears that murder-accused Constantia man had a mistress

He had also represented convicted axe-murderer Henri van Breda in the same court.

Mathewson told Parker: "He [Botha] is able and willing. I am not sure whether he is available".

He added that he was awaiting financial instructions.

Bail conditions

Rob would remain out on bail until his next pre-trial appearance on November 30.

Dressed in a dark suit and blue tie, with what appeared to be a wedding ring on his left hand, he nodded as Parker reminded him to cooperate fully with his legal team and abide by his bail conditions.

Rob was initially granted R50 000 bail with conditions after being arrested for allegedly killing his wife Gill earlier this year.

She disappeared on February 22, and her body was found in the boot of a burnt-out BMW near Diep River train station.

According to the indictment, Rob allegedly used a blunt object to hit Gill on the head and, with the alleged intent to obstruct the course of justice, set alight a BMW while her body was inside the vehicle.

House arrest 

He allegedly also gave the police false information to mislead them during the investigation.

After being re-arrested for contacting witnesses, the High Court increased his bail to R75 000 with more stringent conditions.

Read more: Court increases bail for murder-accused Constantia man after violating conditions

The accused is currently under house arrest but is allowed to visit a shopping centre in Wynberg once a week for three hours, visit a medical practitioner in Wynberg for emergencies, visit his psychologist in Rondebosch once a week, travel to his lawyers to prepare his case and attend church service every Sunday.

He also has to inform his investigating officer from his landline whenever he leaves home and returns, as well as report to the Diep River police station every day.

Packham had to hand over all his electronic devices to his lawyer. In addition, police can search his property at any time for similar devices.

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Read more on:    rob packham  |  gill packham  |  cape town  |  courts  |  crime

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