After a lengthy trial that gripped the Western Cape High Court with intrigue, Rob Packham was found guilty of the murder of his wife.
Since the charges were levelled against him in 2018, Packham has stood firm in his defence that this was, at best, a random killing. His explanation for the State’s evidence that ties him, beyond a reasonable doubt, to his wife’s murder is that it is simply not true.
Why the judge found Rob Packham guilty
However, as Judge Elize Steyn put it to him at the ruling, he has failed to substantiate his counter-arguments against the State’s case.
The Packham’s daughter, Nicola, took the stand to recount life at the Packham home in Constantia before the murder.
In her testimony, she revealed how she was the one that pushed Packham to come clean about his extra-marital activities that essentially broke the marriage apart.
Eyewitness testimonies placed Packham near the Diep River train station, where Gill’s body was discovered in the trunk of her torched car, on the day of her disappearance in February 2018.
One of the crucial factors that, according to Judge Steyn, proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Packham was his wife’s killer, was his reluctance to contact police about his missing wife.
“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,” Judge Steyn concluded.
Packham is currently in police custody and will remain there until his sentencing, the date of which has yet to be confirmed.
Gill’s sisters praise the justice system
For Gill’s sisters, Helen and Sue Humphrey, the verdict was proof that the justice system does work. The siblings can finally find semblance in the fact that Packham will answer for his crimes.
They took to Facebook to share their thoughts on the verdict, thanking the public for the undying support they have received in what they describe as a difficult 15 months of shocking revelations.
“For the past 15 months, we have been dealing with the brutal murder of our sister Gillian Packham (nee Humphrey) and the subsequent revelations of the tragic and painful circumstances she was subjected to in the years and months leading up her murder by Rob Packham.
“While we became aware of some of these details in the last few months of her life, the conspiracy of silence surrounding Gill meant that we have only learned the full extent of what was taking place in the Packham family through this trial.
“Today’s outcome by Judge Steyn allows us to acknowledge that justice has occurred for our sister. The fact that justice has been done does not take away the fact that girls lost their mother and we lost a beautiful sister.”
Helen and Sue Humphrey’s press statement after the verdict.