Wife killer accused Rob Packham claims that even though Gill was “devastated” by his infidelity, they were barely a month away from renewing their wedding vows when she was murdered.
Packham said this in an affidavit presented in the High Court last week during a hearing into bail contraventions which led to his arrest on September 20.
Following a lambasting from Judge Nathan Erasmus for interfering with State witnesses and being slapped with a set of stringent house arrest conditions, Packham was released from Pollsmoor last weekend in time to celebrate his 58th birthday.
Packham said in his affidavit that in November 2017 he ended an affair of which he chose to “disclose the full truth” to Gill.
“My wife was understandably devastated by the news and the knowledge of my infidelity hurt her terribly. She was very angry with me.
“I deeply regretted what I had done. I knew in telling her the truth I was risking the marriage, but I wanted to come clean and be honest with her. I never wanted to break up the marriage, and never stopped loving her, despite the affair. Notwithstanding her hurt and anger she said she wanted to stay together and repair our marriage and work through this. This was my wish too, so we committed to each other to make it work.
“Understandably there was a serious breakdown of trust as a result of my actions. In the counselling we had, we made great progress in rebuilding our relationship.
“We had planned to retake our wedding vows in April 2018.
“My wife still had trust issues with me and would often get me to check in with her to just tell her where I was, and what I was doing. Though frustrating, I fully understood her vulnerability in this regard and did my best to co-operate with her. She would also check my phone for third-party messages sometimes. I did my best to ensure I did not create any new trust concerns for her during this time.”
Further evidence, however, revealed that Packham had bought his mistress a white and gold diamond commitment ring around January, early February, just weeks before Gill was murdered and placed in the boot of her car which was later set alight at Diep River railway station.
It also emerged that Packham, posing as one of his friends, had told his mistress in an email that he had drafted divorce papers and was committed to ending his marriage.
Judge Erasmus said it could be inferred that the “friend” was Packham, who told his mistress, a divorced mother of two, that he adored his “special, beautiful girl” so much that “he would die” for her. The “friend” also revealed that despite being dumped by his mistress after Gill’s murder and warned off by her lawyer, Packham still wanted to hold her “in his arms every single night”.
“There is so much he wants to still do with you - sit by the fire, listen to the rain in bed, walk in the wild flowers, kiss a lot, skinny dip, make love and make you happy.”
Packham’s ex-mistress, a State witness, said in her September statement to police that his harassment had had a “terrible emotional and psychological impact” on her. “His contact with me is not desired; and unwanted. I feel harassed and intimidated by it.”
Weeks later, Packham was arrested for interfering with State witnesses.
He is set to appear again in the High Court in February for murder and defeating the ends of justice.