Cape Town – Alleged wife killer Rob Packham is expected to take the stand in his defence when his murder trial resumes in the Western Cape High Court next month.
The 58-year-old Packham has pleaded not guilty to the murder of his wife Gill, whose charred remains were found on February 22 last year in the boot of her burnt-out car at the Diep River train station, and a charge of obstruction of justice.
Advocate Craig Webster, for Packham, indicated this week that he would call the accused after the recess.
After his trial was postponed to April 15, court officials took the murder accused to the holding cells after the trial was adjourned. Packham turned around, blew a kiss to his daughters and then realised journalists were photographing him, News24 reported.
He then ducked behind a wall and checked a couple of times to see if he was still being photographed, before smiling at the cameras and descending down the stairs to the holding cells.
After the State had closed its case, Webster called his first witness, Warrant Officer Steven Young, on Tuesday.
Young, who is stationed at Diep River police station and has been a police officer for 34 years, commissioned a statement taken from Keanan Thomas,
Thomas and a friend, Lance Govender, the first people to arrive at the scene at Diep River railway station where Gill’s car was found in flames, alleged they had seen Packham close to the scene in his white Audi SUV.
The defence took issue with the description Thomas had given police describing the suspect he had seen as “a mix between white and coloured aged between 30 and 35”.
Thomas identified Packham at a photo identity parade at the Hout Bay police station and when he took the stand in court about two weeks ago, he pointed out Packham as the man he had seen on February 22.
On Tuesday, Young told Webster he was not present when Thomas drafted his statement.
His colleague interviewed the witness, loaded the statement onto a USB stick, came to his office with Thomas, printed out a hard copy and then asked him to commission it.
He confirmed to Webster that he had followed a police standing order by reading back the statement to the witness and making sure he was happy with the contents.