Wednesday March 13, marked the third day of the trial of Constantia businessman Rob Packham who is accused of killing of his wife Gill Packham whose body was found in her torched BMW on Thursday February 22, 2018.
BKM (Bergvliet Kreupelbosch Meadowridge) neighbourhood watch patroller Paul Gray took the witness box late in the morning after two other witnesses.
He had been on patrol on the day Ms Packham went missing and became suspicious after noticing a green BMW with no number plates or licence disc on the corner of Lucius Way and Martius Way, a stone’s throw from Diep River police station.
He said it was around 2pm and he was about 60m from the vehicle when he saw a man get into it. Mr Gray described the man as white and wearing shorts. He said he drove towards the vehicle to engage with the driver who banged his fists on the steering wheel before driving off.
Advocate Craig Webster SC, acting on behalf of Mr Packham’s lawyer Ben Mathewson, said Mr Packham denies being in Diep River at 2pm. He claims to have been searching for his wife in St James and Kalk Bay. He then went to the family’s R3.8 million Riesling Road home before driving to Hout Bay and Chapman’s Peak to continue his search for his wife.
Mr Gray went to Hout Bay police station on Friday April 13 where he was asked to identify the person he saw, from 12 pictures.
The cross examination was painful as Mr Webster asked questions over and over relating to Mr Gray’s eye glasses and to whom he had spoken at Hout Bay police station – and why it had taken him 22 minutes to identify the photograph of the accused.
On Monday March 11, Mr Packham had pleaded not guilty to the murder of his wife and a charge of defeating the ends of justice. He was arrested last year after his wife’s body was identified by means of forensic DNA comparison.
The case continues tomorrow with a witness from Die Gaatjie informal settlement who saw the car burning at Diep River police station.