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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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    Steyn refers to evidence of Terri Adams, a human resources officer at Twizza. Packham sent her his version of events over email and she felt uncomfortable because she was a witness in the case.

    Steyn says that the email to Terri Adams was the first time that Packham mentioned he had been looking for new cars that morning to surprise his wife.

    Steyn refers to licence plate recognition controller Tarryn Steed, who testified that Gill's BMW had not been picked up on the system's LPR camera but was later seen on overview footage without number plates.

    Tarryn Steed spotted BMW on footage coming out of Boundary Road at 14:17. The vehicle was being driven by a white man, "big in stature", wearing eyewear and dressed in a light-coloured golf shirt. She matched the BMW through stickers and faded paint.

    Team News24 (@TeamNews24) | Twitter
     
  2. JudgeJudi

    JudgeJudi Well-Known Member

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    Steyn now on 76-year-old neighbourhood watch member Paul Gray, who saw a white man getting into a stationary green BMW in the area. The man banged his hands on the steering wheel before driving away. He later pointed him out at photo ID parade.

    Steyn: Paul Gray put his hand on the accused's shoulder in the witness box and identified him as the man he saw that day when he came to testify in court.

    Steyn: The accused denied that Mr Gray saw him in the green BMW that day and said he had actually been driving around in his white Audi Q5 looking for his missing wife.

    Steyn now on Keanan Thomas, who testified that he saw Packham driving away from the scene of the burning BMW in a white SUV:

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  3. JudgeJudi

    JudgeJudi Well-Known Member

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    Steyn: Thomas saw a white SUV with the windows down. He shouted at him, thinking that he had maybe called police. They looked at each other and the man drove past. He said the man was a 'mix between white and coloured' and looked angry.

    Steyn refers to Dr Louise Friedling, a forensic anthropology specialist, who detailed the three blows to Gill's skull. She said it would have taken considerable force to cause the fractures because affected areas were the hardest bones in the body.

    Steyn: Markwell told Packham to report his wife missing. He came to her for supper and then left about 9pm to see if Gill had perhaps returned home.

    Steyn now on Judith Markwell, the sister of the accused. She received a message from Nicola, saying she could not reach her parents. Packham phoned about 10am that day and sounded a bit confused. She told him Gill had not arrived at school.

    Team News24 (@TeamNews24) | Twitter

    NB. Please ignore "the UK" in the last line of #407 . I was going to add "I wonder if Nicola will return to the UK when he goes to prison.
     
  4. JudgeJudi

    JudgeJudi Well-Known Member

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    Steyn moves to tyre track analyst Captain Danie van der Westhuizen:

    Steyn: The State argued that Packham changed the tyres on his vehicle because his tyre print was a possible match to imprint found on scene. The accused denied this.

    Steyn refers to next State witness, Lieutenant Colonel Christiaan Labuschagne. He testified that Packham did not seem like the typical stressed spouse hoping to find his loved one.

    Steyn refers to Witness X, the woman who Packham was seeing while still married. A day before Gill's murder, he said he was coming to a decision about their future.

    Steyn says Witness X is a single mother with two young children who did not see it fit to continue the relationship with Packham. Despite a lawyer's letter to stop contact, he persisted.

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  5. mrjitty

    mrjitty Well-Known Member

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    judge latching on to the changed alibi on the morning of the murders
     
  6. JudgeJudi

    JudgeJudi Well-Known Member

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    Steyn now on investigating officer Sergeant Ivan Sonnenberg.

    Steyn refers to Sonnenberg looking at CCTV footage of green BMW. The vehicle was driving quite slowly around a corner in Riesling Rd. A sturdy person with a hat, most probably a male of pale complexion, is spotted in the driver's seat.

    Steyn: Police were justifiably suspicious about Packham not making his appointment with them the morning after his wife's death. If he had an excuse, you would expect he would have apologised for not making it.

    Steyn: There were several indications during Sonnenberg's testimony that Packham was disinterested in the investigation.

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  7. JudgeJudi

    JudgeJudi Well-Known Member

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    IMO the only weak evidence in the State's case is the identity parade, and witness evidence that he had a light complexion, somewhere between white and coloured, but I don't believe either will have any effect on the outcome.

    Apologies for further editing.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
  8. JudgeJudi

    JudgeJudi Well-Known Member

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    Steyn moves to mapping of cellphone data, which she says the defence never disputed.

    Steyn agrees that it is common sense that cellphones pick up the strongest, closest towers.

    Steyn breaks for lunch. Court will be back in session at 14:15 (the judge will postpone an unrelated matter on her return before picking up where she left off with judgment).

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  9. tmar

    tmar Well-Known Member

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    As the Judge stated, there was no reason in not revealing to his daughter, that RP was looking for a car, as a surprise for his wife, that morning if that was the case.
    He only thought of this false alibi LATER.o_Oo_O
     
  10. mrjitty

    mrjitty Well-Known Member

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    Seems clear so far the Judge will find him guilty

    RP looking very worried in the box

    (no jinx)
     
  11. JudgeJudi

    JudgeJudi Well-Known Member

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    Deleted
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
  12. JudgeJudi

    JudgeJudi Well-Known Member

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    We are back after lunch. Steyn says that according to the State, the accused is linked to key scenes through mapping of cellphone data.

    Steyn moves to testimony of defence witnesses, most importantly Rob Packham. Disclosure of affair resulted in marital problems. He said significant progress was made during counselling, which were "full honesty" sessions.

    Steyn: According to Packham, the argument with his wife the night before her death was about his work trip to Joburg. She left for work the next morning at 07:00.

    Steyn: Packham said there were builders hanging around when his wife left. She says this does nothing to forward his version as they would have seen something. She also says its highly unlikely someone would have looked for cars during rush hour.

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  13. JudgeJudi

    JudgeJudi Well-Known Member

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    Steyn: It's highly unlikely Packham would have looked for a new car for his wife after they had argued. His version for turning off his phone during this time is "questionable and suspect".

    Steyn raises important point about Packham looking for his wife: What is inexplicable is that he did not phone her repeatedly but only twice, while phoning his sister repeatedly during the day.

    Steyn: Packham drove to Gill's favourite spots and also to hospitals. It's strange that he did not involve the police or relatives at all during the day. He only went to police station around 19:30. Even then he did not report his wife as missing.

    Steyn: If Packham was concerned about his wife finding out about him buying a new car, why didn't he tell everyone in office to cover for him. Instead he asked for a specific time alibi.

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  14. JudgeJudi

    JudgeJudi Well-Known Member

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    Steyn on Packham looking for his wife: It's "unlikely and incomprehensible" that he would conduct a solo search without active assistance from anyone.

    Steyn: Packham arrived at his sister's house for dinner that night and left at about 21:17. He forgot to charge his phone. What person who is desperately searching for his wife would risk having the phone off for an hour when they have a charger in the car?

    Steyn: Accused has come across as controlling and forceful and not inclined to follow instructions. If he was really as distraught as he was, I find it highly unlikely he would willingly abide by police instruction to leave scene of burning car.

    Steyn: Packham forgot to meet with police the next day, which shows his lack of interest in the details of the investigation. She does not know why he was unhappy with police taking photos of his car

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  15. mrjitty

    mrjitty Well-Known Member

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    If only we had this judge for Pistorius!
     
    ApplesInMyBra and Hag like this.
  16. JudgeJudi

    JudgeJudi Well-Known Member

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    Steyn refers to Packham's explanation for presence of Gill's blood in the garage. Accused speculated it was from recycling and gardening activities. He became confrontational under cross-exam.

    Steyn: According to Packham, his wife must have been hijacked. His answers were very casual. There was no break-in or robbery at the house. Nothing was missing.

    Steyn: The accused admits he sent conflicting messages to different people and was leading a double life.

    Steyn: Gill's green BMW in CCTV footage was driving slowly, not like it was trying to get away as one sees in a hijacking.

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  17. JudgeJudi

    JudgeJudi Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. She's really impressive. Unless there's a mistake in law, no appeal court will reverse this judgment. She's covered the facts in the utmost detail.
     
  18. JudgeJudi

    JudgeJudi Well-Known Member

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    Steyn: The time that Packham gave to a colleague when asking for an alibi is a time when he found himself in a compromising position.

    Steyn says that the record shows it was Packham who interrupted State Prosecutor Susan Galloway repeatedly during cross-exam, and not the other way around, as he became more agitated.

    Steyn says that Packham's explanation of being at a nursery to explain why his cellphone picked up signal near Diep River, was new testimony and probably made up.

    Steyn: Packham became flustered during the last part of his cross-exam. Google Maps shows that his house, a near neighbour's CCTV, and key scenes where Packham was spotted by eyewitnesses are all in close proximity.

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  19. JudgeJudi

    JudgeJudi Well-Known Member

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    Steyn going through the State's version of what happened i.e. that Packham found himself in a corner due to his affair, killed Gill, made up cover stories along the way, got rid of evidence, and set murder up to look like a hijacking.

    Steyn finds that the State witnesses were honest, consistent and credible. She says the eyewitnesses were bona fide and that Packham's response to their testimony was unpersuasive, unreasonable and therefore, rejected.

    Steyn: With eyewitnesses, she did not believe that inconsistencies were enough to discredit their testimony. And she believed the ID photo parade was legitimate.

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  20. JudgeJudi

    JudgeJudi Well-Known Member

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    Steyn asks Packham to stand. She says she cannot find explanations for him turning off his phone or asking for alibi. He did not act in a distraught manner a husband usually would about his missing wife. In court, he gave snide and sarcastic responses.

    Steyn says Packham showed himself to be an accomplished liar, living a selfish, destructive life. She agrees with the State that his conduct is indicative of his guilt.

    Steyn: Totality of evidence points overwhelmingly to the guilt of the accused & State has proved case beyond reasonable doubt. His version is rejected. The accused was the person who killed his wife, set his wife's car alight and provided false info to cops.

    JUST IN: Western Cape High Court finds Rob Packham

    GUILTY of killing his wife and obstructing justice

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