Rob Packham, a Constantia man yet to go on trial for the murder of his wife, will be missing his daughter’s wedding and spending Christmas behind bars. Picture: Zodidi Dano/Cape Argus

Cape Town - Rob Packham, a Constantia man yet to go on trial for the murder of his wife, will be missing his daughter’s wedding and will be spending Christmas behind bars after his bail was revoked by the Western Cape High Court.

On Thursday, Judge Elizabeth Baartman found that Packham was in breach of his bail conditions and ordered that the R75 000 bail money be returned back to the depositor, a third party.

Packham is accused of killing his wife Gill Packham, whose body was found in the boot of a burning BMW vehicle she owned near the Diep River railway station after she was reported missing.

On the day she went missing, February 22, she left home for work at Springfield Convent School in Wynberg at around 7am.

The judge’s ruling followed a second bail inquiry application made by the State after Packham breached his bail conditions by directly or indirectly contacting a state witness, who happened to be his mistress of three years.

The first bail application, made in September found that he had breached bail conditions for going to his mistress’s workplace to drop flowers as well as for sending her electronic communication.

As a result, his bail amount was increased from R50 000 to R75 000. He was placed under house arrest and banned from having any electronic device where he can send or receive communication from.

In this State application, made on Wednesday, the State alleged Packham tried to make contact with the mistress through a mutual friend, both the mistress and the friend’s name cannot be named to due a court order. 

He typed a letter, posted and had it delivered to the security desk at the complex the friend lived in. The letter bared initials similar to Packham’s alias name “Richard Hopkins” which was used by him in previous communications.

Packham further sent text messages to the friend on October 17, just after midnight.

Judge Baartman said: “I am persuaded that on a balance of probabilities the State has shown that the respondent (Packham) was the author of the December correspondence. He did so in contravention of his bail conditions. He is also the author of the October correspondence…

“These were deliberate calculated actions.”

She said Packham had no regard for the courts.

“Despite the measures put in place, the respondent is in flagrant disregard for the orders of this court… It is not in the interest of justice to allow an accused to abuse his bail conditions with no consequences,” said judge Baartman.

The judge ordered he remain in custody pending the finalisation of the trial, which will start on March 11, next year.

Packham was teary-eyed as he hugged his daughter placing her on his lap. The two shared an emotional moment before he was comforted by another family member. 

He was then cuffed by the court orderly and escorted to the holding cells awaiting. It is unclear at this stage which prison he will be held at. 


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Cape Argus