Rob Packham, who is accused of murdering his wife Gill Packham, outside court during his inital bail application File photo: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town - Western Cape High Court Judge Elizabeth Baartman has refused alleged wife murderer Rob Packham's application for leave to appeal the cancellation of his bail.

Baartman, in written reasons for her decision, said there was "no sound or rational basis to conclude that there are prospects of success on appeal".

The 57-year-old Packham is accused of murder and defeating the ends of justice for allegedly killing his wife Gill Packham in February last year.

On the day she went missing, February 22, she left home for work at Springfield Convent School at about 7am. Her body was later found in the boot of a burnt out BMW near Diep River train station.

The State alleges that her husband used a blunt object to hit her on the head and, with the alleged intention of obstructing the course of justice, set her BMW on fire while her body was in it.

Judge Baartman cancelled Packham's R75 000 bail on December 20 after the State alleged he had tried to make contact with his former mistress, who is a potential state witness, through a mutual friend. 

He allegedly typed a letter that was delivered to the security desk at the complex the friend lived in. Furthermore, he allegedly sent text messages to the friend on October 17, in breach of his bail conditions. 

Defence lawyer Ben Mathewson told the court on Tuesday that there was no evidence that the SMS was sent by Packham.

"He denies it. I must ask the court to consider the haphazard way the police investigated this aspect. It's hearsay on hearsay." 

Mathewson said the state had not proved that his client was in breach of his bail conditions, and argued that another court may come to a different conclusion.

He told the court that while not conceding Packham was the author of the alleged communications, the "tone and content" had been "loving in nature". 

But on Wednesday, Judge Baartman shot down Mathewson's argument in her written judgment and said Packham sought to reduce the contravention of his bail conditions to "insignificance, without admitting it".

"If one bears in mind that the contravention was committed after a court had found that the applicant had breached the original bail conditions, increased the bail amount and imposed house arrest with stringent conditions, the seriousness of the breach is obvious." 

She said his attitude towards the court order "defies logic and is an indication of his attitude towards it". 

The Judge also said defence lawyer Mathewson ignored the fact that the potential state witness had complained about being harassed.

Packham was initially granted R50 000 bail with conditions, after his arrest, but it was increased to R75 000 with more stringent conditions in September last year after he contacted State witnesses, including his former lover.

He was not in court on Wednesday and is being held at Pollsmoor prison. His trial has been set down to start on March 11.

African News Agency (ANA)