Constantia businessman Rob Packham, 58, was sentenced to 22 years direct imprisonment in the Western Cape High Court today for the murder of his wife Gill Packham and for defeating the ends of justice.
Judge Elize Steyn sentenced Packham to 20 years for the murder of his wife and four years for the second count of defeating the ends of justice. Two years of the sentence for the second count will run concurrently with the first count of murder, making it an effective 22 years on both counts.
Judge Steyn also made reference to femicide in the country and how domestic violence has become a scourge in South Africa, with hardly a day passing where a woman or child is not killed.
The judge said that Packham was a strong, fit, middle-aged man who took advantage of his petite wife who looked up to him for protection.
The judge said that Packham’s actions were immoral and horrid as he put his wife’s body in a boot, drove around with it looking for dumping spots and then set it alight. She said his actions were gruesome, not only towards his wife’s body but also towards their family.
Sentencing began in court on Monday June 10 with the State pushing for a life sentence, saying that Packham had not shown remorse for his actions.
The state also described the killing as cold and brutal, with state prosecutor Susan Galloway saying that Packham was selfish for killing the mother of his children and wife who had tried to salvage their marriage until her death.
Ms Galloway said Packham had simply removed his wife from his life when he no longer wanted her.
Read more on this story in the Bulletin tomorrow.