South Africa - Gill Packham, 57, murdered, Cape Town, 22 February, 2018 *arrest*

Discussion in 'Crimes in the News' started by JudgeJudi, Mar 4, 2018.

  1. JudgeJudi

    JudgeJudi Well-Known Member

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    Susan Galloway, the Prosecutor, is asking for 25 years. In South Africa, if it's "vanilla" (simple) murder, the sentence is 15 years, possibly less if it's a first offence and/or there were mitigating circumstances. If it's premeditated or aggravated, the minimum sentence is 25 years before being eligible to apply for parole.

    Galloway was also the prosecutor in Henri van Breda's trial which a number of us here followed. As I also followed the Oscar Pistorius' trial and two others, I'm very familiar with SA law now.

    All murderers lie in court, so nothing new there. Being clumsy doesn't enter into it at all - some people are just stupid and/or careless. I agree, he should have just ended the marriage, just the same as Chris Watts should have before he murdered his pregnant wife and two toddlers. We'll have to wait and see what he says.

    ETA. Galloway wouldn't be asking for 25 years if she didn't think it was premeditated.
     
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  2. mrjitty

    mrjitty Well-Known Member

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    I dimly remember from my professionals course (the only time I covered criminal trial procedure) that if the defence intends to pursue an active defence, then key contentions must be put to the relevant witnesses.

    So maybe defence intends to submit that Packham went off the rails in his grief - hence the need to put this to the witness

    But to me, it can only be Packham himself who can claim "he doesn't remember sending it"

    I am probably overthinking it and counsel has pulled a fast one ;)
     
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  3. JudgeJudi

    JudgeJudi Well-Known Member

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    He's a liar and a shifty one at that. Lied to his wife, his daughter, the marriage guidance counsellor, and tried to get his work colleague to cover for his absence at work that morning. He's beyond disgusting. He lost his bail because he tried to contact his mistress and in doing so was unable to attend the older daughter's wedding. He also spoke to the mistress the night before Gill went missing and on the day she went missing.
     
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  4. JudgeJudi

    JudgeJudi Well-Known Member

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    As for his supposed tears when he was talking to NP the day Gill was missing, how many times have we actually seen tears. OP sobbed and vomited into the green bucket during his trial and Panayiotou sobbed at Jayde's funeral. Crocodile tears from all of them.
     
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  5. Interested Bystander

    Interested Bystander Well-Known Member

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    Many thanks everyone for the write up. I did look for a video for today but if there is one it is very elusive. Maybe due to the girlfriend not wanting to be filmed or named but one would have thought it should have been easy enough to omit her from any video and use sound only. Only a guess.
     
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  6. JudgeJudi

    JudgeJudi Well-Known Member

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    Day 7 of Rob Packham's trial in the Western Cape High Court and the investigating officer is expected to testify today.

    The State calls investigating officer, Sergeant Ivan Sonnenberg, to the stand. He is stationed at the Diep River police station and has been in SAPS for 13 years.

    IS: We found the body in the boot...[and] a trail of how the fire was started. We found a burnt-out wallet with coins in it. The wallet was near to the boot section on the driver's side. Doesn't know who it belonged to.

    State: It is common cause that body was discovered in boot at burnt out vehicle at Diep River train station on 22 Feb 2018. IS confirms he was at the scene.

    IS: The car doors were locked. A few days later, the body was confirmed via DNA to belong to Gill Packham.

    IS took statement from Packham the next morning to get his version of events the previous day and when last he saw his wife. Also took statement from his sister Judith later on, regarding his whereabouts.

    Team News24 (@TeamNews24) | Twitter
     
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  7. JudgeJudi

    JudgeJudi Well-Known Member

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  8. JudgeJudi

    JudgeJudi Well-Known Member

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    IS: I phoned Packham the night of the incident and he said he wasn't coming to scene because it had been a long day. The next day, he didn't make 8am appointment at police station and he wasn't at his home.

    IS: While we were sitting, the accused had to explain to me the events of the previous day. He was very calm, no stresses, he was just sitting there, telling his story to me. There was no crying or anything.

    IS: I typed down his statement and then got someone else to help because I was very tired from night before. The accused had to repeat his story to that person.

    Susan Galloway: According to the statement, Packham said he and the deceased had breakfast, then she left before he did around 7am. IS confirms this version didn't change.

    Team News24 (@TeamNews24) | Twitter
     
  9. mrjitty

    mrjitty Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the livestream - tuned in!
     
  10. JudgeJudi

    JudgeJudi Well-Known Member

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    SG: It appears that he drove around in his vehicle and used his cellphone. IS confirms this version in Packham's statement.

    SG asks how safe Constantia is.
    IS replies: "There is hardly any crime in that area. I don’t know when last we received any complaints from that area. It is fairly quiet and fairly safe."

    State says it is in possession of CCTV footage from a house near Packham's. IS confirms that the footage is from 7:34 on 22 Feb, 2018, the day Gill died. They were trying to establish the route she took.

    IS says they zoomed in to try see face of the driver, who appeared to have a baseball cap on. Could only see the side of the head. Driver wore a white shirt and black jacket. "From the zoomed in photograph, he looks like a white male".

    Team News24 (@TeamNews24) | Twitter
     
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  11. JudgeJudi

    JudgeJudi Well-Known Member

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    IS obtained cellphone records to see if they could find the areas the deceased was last seen. And also of the accused to see if he was in the same vicinity.

    IS explains that at the time he spoke to Packham, on Feb 23, 2018, he was not aware he had a second cellphone ('burner phone'). He only handed in his work phone. Ex-mistress told police he had a second phone they used for communication.

    IS says they got Packham's work iPhone and asked for the pin. At first he supplied a pin but it didn't work. He later said he forgot it. To this day, police have not been able to access its contents.

    IS subpoenaed Vodacom for call records to they could compile a map of which cell towers picked up signals that morning (to determine general vicinity the accused and deceased were in).

    Team News24 (@TeamNews24) | Twitter

    Strange how murderers always forget their PINs.
     
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  12. JudgeJudi

    JudgeJudi Well-Known Member

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    IS says three police officers in two vehicles (one marked) arrived at Packham's house in the early evening to arrest him. When we arrived at the premises, we rang the bell a couple of times at the gate. Eventually a lady answered.

    State asks how often hijacked or stolen vehicles are recovered in Diep River. IS replies not very often. These vehicles are usually recovered in other areas. He says nothing was reported missing or stolen from Packham's house or the vehicle.

    IS: The accused came to open up the gate for us. I found there were 8 or 9 people, males and females, having some type of gathering party. We took him to one side and explained why we were there. Packham asked to phone his attorney.

    [Just what you do when your wife goes missing .... invite your friends around and have a party]

    IS: The accused managed to contact his attorney. He was dressed in shorts and a t-shirt. We told him to dress in long pants and jacket or jersey because it gets cold in the cell. It took 35 minutes and then we took him to police station.

    Team News24 (@TeamNews24) | Twitter
     
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  13. JudgeJudi

    JudgeJudi Well-Known Member

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    IS: His attorney arrived at the police station. Packham was informed of his rights but didn't want to sign that notice.

    The police got permission from his daughters on 2 March 2018 to search his house. A warrant officer collected samples there.

    Between 22 Feb 2018 and arrest on March 1, 2018, IS says the only time he heard from Packham was when he fetched him from his house on 23 Feb. IS spoke with his daughters until first court appearance.

    A warning statement was taken from Packham on March 3, 2018. IS was not present during that interview but was informed that the accused indicated he had no injuries.

    Team News24 (@TeamNews24) | Twitter
     
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  14. JudgeJudi

    JudgeJudi Well-Known Member

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    IS: On April 11, IS showed a warrant officer certain scenes so that aerial photographs could be taken. "It is about 5km from the accused's house to the deceased's school, where she worked." About 3.5km from house to where burnt-out vehicle was found.

    Packham's sister Judith Markwell said it took about 15min to get from her house to his house. IS says that sounds correct, if it is not busy.

    Now on tyre tracks analysis. Photos were taken of tyres on Packham's Audi Q5, first at his house and then a few months later at the Diep River station. This was because a ruler hadn't been used the first time in photos for measurement.

    Police had asked the defence for the vehicle, which was promised but never happened. They then got a court order in Wynberg. Packham dropped off the vehicle at the station and left the keys. IS said he didn't see him personally.

    Team News24 (@TeamNews24) | Twitter
     
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  15. JudgeJudi

    JudgeJudi Well-Known Member

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    State asks how much moving space between Packham's vehicle and deceased's vehicles if parked in garage. IS estimates about 1m between vehicles. There was a lot of stuff in the garage... washing machines, tumble dryers. It was fully packed.

    IS confirms blood droplets were found in this space in the garage (Gill's), the inside driver's side door handle of his vehicle (Gill's), and in and around basin of ensuite bathroom (Packham's).

    IS says Packham never explained the presence of his or his wife's blood in these locations.

    On possible murder weapon, IS says they searched the garage and found linen and bedding for the BnB stored there. "In between we found a broken axe- the head of the axe and the handle for the axe".

    IS: We sprayed the broken axe in garage for DNA but couldn’t find anything. "We did find it strange that it was hidden away like that."

    Team News24 (@TeamNews24) | Twitter
     
  16. JudgeJudi

    JudgeJudi Well-Known Member

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    IS confirms that there were two applications to cancel Packham's bail because he kept contacting witnesses. He says it wouldn't have been a problem if he needed to amend bail conditions to attend work disciplinary or something urgent.

    Team News24 (@TeamNews24) | Twitter

    I think they said they're having a 45 min. break, until 11:45.
     
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  17. mrjitty

    mrjitty Well-Known Member

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    Wow - this evidence is pretty damaging

    If Gill's blood was in the garage then Packham is guilty
     
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  18. JudgeJudi

    JudgeJudi Well-Known Member

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    Killed her in the garage and cleaned himself up in the bathroom. What a loser.
     
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  19. JudgeJudi

    JudgeJudi Well-Known Member

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    We are back after tea. Defence lawyer Adv Craig Webster (CW) begins its cross-exam of investigating officer Ivan Sonnenberg (IS). He asks when IS first became involved in the case.

    IS says he was on standby that day and was called out to a burning vehicle in Diep River. He found firefighters extinguishing last flames and saw a body in the boot. He's been investigating officer from 22nd Feb, 2018.

    CW says IS called Packham very late, after midnight. IS says he can't remember the time but phoned from the station. CW says Packham had said he was tired and would see him at 8:30, not 8 the next morning.

    CW says Packham arrived back home at 8:20am on Feb 23, 2018 and saw IS waiting at home for him. "He says your attitude and the other police officers towards him was hostile when he arrived there". IS says that isn't true.

    Team News24 (@TeamNews24) | Twitter
     
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  20. JudgeJudi

    JudgeJudi Well-Known Member

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