‘I love my life, but I don’t love my wife’: state paints ‘wife-killer’ Packham as dishonest
Businessman admits to stringing his wife and another woman along as he butts heads with prosecutor
Wife-murder accused Rob Packham told the High Court in Cape Town on Monday how upset his wife Gill was when he admitted in a counselling session he still had feelings for his mistress.
“Gill was upset about the entire thing. When it was revealed to her, she [Gill] wanted our marriage ended by Christmas," said Packham, who butted heads with the prosecution as the state sought to portray him as a dishonest adulterer.
The 58-year-old Cape Town businessman took the witness stand in the high court in Cape Town and testified that his relationship with his wife Gill was on the mend at the time of her death. He also said he had ended the extramarital affair that had brought turmoil into his marriage of more than 31 years.
But prosecutor Susan Galloway produced evidence that proved he was still in a relationship with his former mistress – who cannot be named as per a court order – until after Gill’s death.
The state called the former mistress to bolster its case earlier in the trial. She told the court that she ended the relationship in March 2018 – following Gill’s death – because she did not want media attention after Packham’s arrest.
Galloway referred to the former mistress as Witness X.
“You told Witness X: ‘I love my life, but I don’t love my wife.’ You gave conflicting commitments to these two women,” said Galloway
Packham admitted: “I did say that to her in early 2016.”
The former mistress testified that Packham had two cellphones and that his family was only aware of his work phone. He used the secret cellphone to communicate with the former mistress. When quizzed by Galloway about the cellphones, Packham said one was a work phone, an iPhone, and the other one was “a no-name phone”.
He admitted that he told Gill during counselling sessions that he had feelings for his former mistress.
Galloway also confronted Packham about creating an impression that he wanted to save his marriage when he actually told the mistress that he was considering divorce.
“As the sessions progressed [I] became more honest,” said Packham.
Galloway said Packham was the last person to see Gill alive on the day she disappeared – on the morning of February 22 2018. Packham said Gill left at about 7am for work and that he followed about 30 minutes later.
But Galloway said CCTV footage obtained from their street, in upmarket Constantia, showed Gill’s car driving down the street at 7.34am that day and that someone who looked like a white man was behind the wheel.
“The only time you are seen by someone else, besides your wife, is at 10.22am when you arrived at [your workplace],” said Galloway.
Packham allegedly killed Gill and put her body in the boot of her car and set it alight at the Deip River railway station in February 2018. According to the state, he was bust by licence-recognition cameras that showed him driving Gill’s BMW, while cellphone towers showed that he drove around Constantia on the day of her disappearance.
Gill’s charred body was found in the boot of the car after firefighters extinguished the flames.
He has pleaded not guilty.
The trial continues.