Yet another application to revoke the bail of murder accused Robert Packham has been brought before the Western Cape High Court. Picture: Zodidi Dano/Cape Argus
Cape Town - Yet another application to revoke the bail of murder accused Robert Packham has been brought before the Western Cape High Court.

It is alleged Packham tried to make contact with a State witness.

Packham is accused of killing his wife, Gill Packham, whose body was found in the boot of her burning BMW near the Diep River railway station, 18km north-west of Cape Town.

She went missing on February 22 after leaving home for work at Springfield Convent School in Wynberg.

On Tuesday, Judge Elizabeth Baartman heard the second inquiry to have his bail revoked. The first application was in September, when he was found in breach for going to his mistress’s work to drop flowers and for sending her electronic communication.

His bail was increased and stringent conditions were given, including house-arrest and that he may not have an electronic device where he can send or receive communication.

State prosecutor Susan Galloway called investigating officer Ivan Sonnenberg to the stand, who told the court Packham had tried to make contact with the woman through a mutual friend.

It is alleged Packham typed a letter and delivered it to the security desk at the complex where the friend lived. He said the letter was to be forwarded to the mistress.

The letter had initials similar to Packham’s alias, “Richard Hopkins”.

He allegedly begged for the mutual friend to get him and her together. Packham and the mistress were in a relationship for three years.

“Tried to reach out and support her but I have been scattered away. We only get one life, just get her to try It’s better for us to meet now and get clarity,” the letter reads.

According to the friend’s statement, Packham sent an SMS on October 17 soon after midnight. She said the initials used in the text, “Rob P”, was how Packham identified himself in communications with her.

Packham neither denied nor confirmed writing the letter, but denied sending the text message.

His lawyer Ben Mathewson argued the State failed to take prints on the envelope or check the writing or DNA on the envelope. He said it could have been written by anyone, including Gill’s friends or member of the public.

Mathewson also informed the court of the mistress’s and the friend’s sexual lifestyle, saying they were in a BDSM (bondage, domination, sadism and masochism) group.

“She is a member of a swinging club where you go to places and swop partners. The issue is everyone knows and anyone could send the message,” said Mathewson.

He told the court that Packham had received stacks of hate mail and one particular letter warned him to stick to his bail conditions.

A ruling will be delivered today.


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Cape Argus