Alleged murderer Robert Packham, neatly dressed in a blue checked shirt and red jersey, appeared yesterday for the first time in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court.
He was arrested at his home last Thursday evening on charges of murdering his wife and defeating the ends of justice, reports News24:
He is accused of the premeditated murder of his wife Gill and of destroying evidence relating to her death, following her disappearance on February 22.
You can read more about the alleged murder here.
With the intention of opposing Packham’s release on bail, fearing that evidence “might be lost” if he was released, the State argued that Packham tried to arrange an alibi on the day the Constantia school secretary went missing, reports EWN:
The Wynberg Magistrates Court has heard Robert allegedly phoned a colleague on the morning his wife was reported missing to ask the co-worker to say they were in a meeting.
The State also claims that while the accused was supposedly at work, his cellphone was picked up by towers in the Diep River/Constantia area.
Control prosecutor Brynmore Benjamin says on that morning, a vehicle without number plates matching the description of the deceased’s car was seen being driven by a person matching the accused’s description.
According to the State, she was formally reported missing at 9PM and, at 9:30PM, her car was found burning near Diep River police station.
The video below shows where the car was found, from Times LIVE:
At one stage, Packham’s movements were even picked up on CCTV cameras:
Defence attorney Ben Mathewson says photos of Gill’s green BMW have been shown to her two daughters, but they are unable to identify the driver.
Police have still not located Gill’s cellphone.
Packham, a general manager at cooldrink manufacturer Twizza, began 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”.
However, Magistrate Goolam Bawa denied Mathewson’s request that Packham be held at Diep River police station and he was sent to Pollsmoor.
Bawa postponed the case to Friday.
A murder like this must have either been crime passionnel or for money – perhaps an insurance payout or something? Our bet is on the latter.
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