Constantia man accused of wife's murder back in court

2018-05-08 07:10
Loved ones of Robin Packham, accused of his wife Gill’s murder, leave the Wynberg Magistrates Court. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

Loved ones of Robin Packham, accused of his wife Gill’s murder, leave the Wynberg Magistrates Court. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Constantia man, Rob Packham, who is accused of murdering his wife Gill, is expected to appear in the Wynberg Magistrate's Court on Tuesday on charges of murder and defeating the ends of justice.

Packham's wife disappeared on February 22. Her charred body was found in the boot of a burnt-out vehicle at the Diep River train station days after her disappearance and was identified through forensic DNA comparison.

Her husband was arrested in March and was released on R50 000 bail shortly after making his first appearance in court. He was restricted to house arrest at his upmarket home in Constantia.

The Zimbabwean-born and Michaelhouse-educated widower's bail conditions allow him to continue his R80 000-a-month job at cooldrink manufacturer Twizza and to consult his lawyer. He was also allowed to attend his wife's funeral.

His lawyer, Ben Mathewson, said Packham intended pleading not guilty and added that he was grief stricken following the death of his wife of 30 years.

During Packham's bail application, Mathewson said the accused would continue to co-operate with the police as they continued with their investigation, which included an identity parade, cellphone analysis, and getting the final forensic report on Gill's death.

Mathewson said that Packham had moved to South Africa with his family when he was seven years old.

He has been a permanent resident ever since.

Prosecutor Brynmor Benjamin previously told the court that the accused had contacted a colleague to arrange an alibi and that he allegedly told the person to claim that they had been in a meeting at 08:30 that morning, when he was meant to be at work.

His cellphone records, however, indicated that he had been in Constantia or Diep River at the time, Benjamin said.

According to the State, Gill was formally reported missing at 21:00. At 21:30, her car was found burning near Diep River police station.

Benjamin told the court that Packham was the last person with Gill.

Security cameras allegedly captured someone driving a car similar to Gill's on that day, which did not have any registration plates.

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