Rob Packham, right, at the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court with his lawyer, Ben Mathewson, during an earlier court appearance. David Ritchie African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - Rob Packham, accused used of murdering his wife, used a “burner” phone and an alias to lure his ex-mistress, a State witness, back into a relationship.

This was part of the evidence heard on Friday in the Western Cape High Court where Judge Nathan Erasmus ordered that Packham be placed under house arrest and set stringent bail conditions to prevent any further interference with State witnesses.

Packham also needs to pay an additional R25 000 bail after initially securing bail at R50 000.

After hearing the evidence, Judge Erasmus concluded that it could be inferred that Packham was “Richard Hopkins”, the man who wrote a September 4 email to the ex-mistress claiming to be Packham’s friend and confidante.

The court ordered that the ex-mistress not be identified. She broke up with Packham after he allegedly murdered wife Gill in February and warned him through her lawyer that she wanted no further contact with him.

The court also heard that “Richard” sent the ex-mistress a text message from a phone that could not be traced, saying he had dropped off flowers at her workplace on behalf of Packham. But CCTV footage supplied to investigators by the ex revealed that it was Packham himself who had delivered the flowers.

In the email, “Richard” purportedly attempted to use shame and guilt to make the ex feel sorry for Packham, who goes on trial in February next year for murder and defeating the ends of justice.

After listing Packham’s woes, “Richard” said: “His life is a s*** pot And still you walked out on him!? F***. Did you honestly have to do this to someone you supposedly cared for? I would never usually go near this really personal stuff, but I care for Rob and his wellbeing so much right now.”

The email continued: “It sounds like you two really had something amazing together that you thrilled him in more ways than he believed possible. He also mentioned life-altering sex, no details! but wow.”

The email repeatedly makes a case for how the ex abandoned Packham in his hour of need and urges her to “grow some lady balls” to reconnect with him.

It also accuses the ex of being “chicken” for leaving Packham.

Repeatedly “Richard” claimed Packham was a fine, upstanding guy who wants her back under the police radar.

In her statement to police, Packham’s ex said his harassment had a “terrible emotional and psychological impact” on her.

Weekend Argus