Constantia murder: Blood found in home and car of victim's husband

2018-03-05 15:54
Loved ones of Robin Packham, accused of his wife Gill’s murder, leave the Wynberg Magistrate's Court on Monday. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

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

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Cape Town - Blood presumably belonging to murdered Constantia woman Gill Packham, was found in the home that she shared with her husband Robin Packham, who is now accused of her murder, the Wynberg Magistrate's Court has heard.

The blood was found in the garage as well as the en suite bathroom attached to the main bedroom. More was found on the door to the driver's side of the accused's car.

Packham made his first appearance in court on Monday. He is accused of her murder and defeating the ends of justice.

Prosecutor Brynmor Benjamin told the court that the accused had contacted a colleague to arrange an alibi, telling 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.

Gill, a school administrator, was last seen the morning of February 22. The family was informed that, by 07:35, she had not yet reported for work.

'Calling it a day'

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

DNA taken from her daughters confirmed that it was her body that had been found in the boot of the car, once the fire had been extinguished.

Benjamin told the court that the accused 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.

Benjamin said it was a known fact that the Packhams were experiencing marital problems and that he had sent his wife a cellphone message to say that he was "thinking of calling it a day".

Search for evidence continues

It was clear that the accused had tried to destroy evidence, the prosecutor said, and police have still not located Gill's cellphone. 

Police were also still looking for other evidence, Benjamin added.

Defence attorney Ben Mathewson argued that his client had given the police his cooperation and had not left the jurisdiction.

Footage of someone driving Gill's BMW was shown to the couple's children, who could not identify their father as the driver, he said.

The State also did not have a murder weapon, he pointed out, and there was no evidence that the blood found by the police's forensics team was Gill's.

He added that there was no proof that the accused had assaulted his wife and caused her death and no reasonable evidence for his arrest.

He also submitted that his client had been arrested without a warrant.

Mathewson said his client had driven around to look for his wife that day and searched in places that they frequented.

The accused, a general manager at cooldrink manufacturer Twizza's Cape-based plant, started to weep when Mathewson said that he wanted to support his children at their mother's funeral, which is expected to take place on Tuesday.

Read: Constantia man weeps during first appearance for wife's murder

The State requested a seven-day postponement so that the schedule of the offences Packham is accused of could be determined.

Magistrate Goolam Bawa postponed the case to Friday.

Bawa denied Mathewson's request that his client be held at Diep River police station ahead of his next appearance, saying that a police station was not a facility for an awaiting-trial prisoner.

He will be held at Pollsmoor Prison instead.

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

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