After a trial characterised by bizarre twists and turns, sanity and the law of order seems to have prevailed in Cape Town. Businessman Rob Packham has been found guilty of killing his partner, before trying to hide her body.
The gruesome nature of the murder has been particularly galling. The Constantia-based couple seemingly had a textbook marriage. But in February 2018, Gill Packham was reported missing. A few days later, her body was found in the back of a burnt-out BMW.
Rob Packham trial verdict
During the case, eyewitnesses and forensic evidence has tied Rob to her murder. Earlier in the year, the court was told how Gill suffered a blunt-force trauma to the head, rendering her lifeless. The state pathologist ruled out that these injuries could be caused by “a fall” as Rob Packham reasoned, and insisted she was hit with tremendous force.
Judge Elize Steyn reviewed her judgement with the court on Monday, and she detailed a long list of reasons for putting Packham behind bars. She ultimately upheld the testimony of key witnesses, some of whom reported seeing an angry-looking Packham drive away from the Diep River train station where Gill was eventually discovered.
#Packham 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. @TeamNews24
— Jenna Etheridge (@JennaEtheridge) May 20, 2019
The Totality of evidence points overwhelmingly to the guilt of the accused and the state has proved its case beyond any reasonable doubt. [Packham’s] version is rejected. The accused was the person who killed his wife, set his wife’s car alight and provided false info to cops.
What happens now?
Rob Packham will remain in police custody until a sentencing hearing is confirmed. After he learns how long he’ll be spending in jail, he and his defence team will be entitled to launch an appeal. The man convicted of killing his wife will have to behave himself in a more appropriate manner going forward, though.
Packham, who has repeatedly denied having any involvement with the murder, was reprimanded for both stalking witnesses and harassing some friends and former acquaintances. His bail was revoked just before Christmas after he had repeatedly broken the terms of his agreement.