A woman who had been having an affair with Rob Packham since October 2015 said he sent her a message two days after his wife’s death, saying “this madness will soon be over and we can be together”. He also told her he loved his life but not his wife and was not in a position to make a decision.
Mr Packham is accused of killing his wife Gill‚ putting her body in the boot of her green BMW and setting it alight at Diep River railway station on February February 22 last year. Mr Packham, 58, has been identified by two witnesses who saw him driving away from the burning car.
The mistress, whose identity cannot be made public as per a court order, said Mr Packham had been living in a flat in Claremont with his daughter. She said Mr Packham told her he was separated from his wife, but in December 2015, he moved back to their family home in Constantia. Asked what contact they had during the relationship, she said they would SMS and WhatsApp each other early morning and during the day and would meet at her residence, guest houses and go away on trips together. The woman, who has short dark hair, medium build, and wore a cream blouse and dark jacket, said they sometimes discussed taking the relationship further.
She said Ms Packham only found about the relationship late October 2017 when his daughter told him to come clean. In November he told her he had spoken to an attorney about divorce and in January 2018 he said he had been to a Westlake attorney, twice.
They met for coffee at Watershed at the V&A Waterfront the day before Ms Packham disappeared, she said.
The woman said she received a phone call from Mr Packham at 10am on the day Ms Packham disappeared. “He sounded frazzled, saying Gill had not arrived at work,” she said, adding that she had madesuggestions of how he could find her, including reporting her disappearance to the Pink Ladies. He phoned again at midday to say he was driving around looking for his wife.
Mr Packham met his mistress again near her workplace and they sat in his car when he told her he was a “person of interest” because he was “the last one to see Gill alive”.
She said she had “ties” with Mr Packham up until Sunday March 25 when she ended the relationship because she realised it was not in her interest or that of her children to be in contact with him. However, they kept in touch for two months, directly and through friends. She eventually sought legal counsel to stop him from contacting her, but he continued and made 22 further attempts, including sending a five page email allegedly from a third person calling himself Richard J Hopkins.
The case continues.