Wife-murderer Rob Packham sentenced to 22 years

Wife-killer Rob Packham during his sentencing in the Cape Town high court on June 12 2019.
Wife-killer Rob Packham during his sentencing in the Cape Town high court on June 12 2019.
Image: Esa Alexander

Constantia businessman Rob Packham was sentenced to 20 years in prison, for the murder of his wife,  by judge Elizabeth Steyn at the Cape Town high court on Wednesday.

An additional sentence for defeating the ends of justice means his sentence is effectively 22 years.

The 58-year-old Constantia businessman looked stressed and impatient in the dock as Steyn read her sentencing decision, and occasionally gave a faint shake of his head.

He was convicted in May of killing his wife of 30 years, Gill, in February 2018.

Her body was found in the boot of her burning car at Diep River railway station.  

Packham was sentenced to four years for defeating the ends of justice by attempting to cover up the murder.

The sentences will run concurrently.

Packham’s lack of emotion and extramarital affair have been at the forefront of court proceedings since he was arrested in March 2018.

"No remorse has been demonstrated by the accused, even during sentencing, by electing not to testify,” prosecutor Susan Galloway said, as she argued for a life sentence.

“The accused found himself in circumstances of his own creation by his continued infidelity.”

Though he and Gill were in counselling, Packham kept in touch with his ex-mistress, even on the morning when he killed Gill by repeatedly hitting her over the head.  

The state said Packham murdered his wife, a secretary at Springfield Convent School in Wynberg, once he decided she “no longer fit" with what he wanted.

“He’s not to be sentenced for having an affair,” defence advocate Craig Webster said on Monday, pushing for a sentence of 12 years.

One of the Packhams' two daughters, Kerry, asked Steyn to be lenient in her sentencing.

“He is a wonderful man and was a wonderful father,” she said.

“He was always there for us and showed that he cared. I ask that you don't put him away forever."

The sentence imposed by Steyn is above the prescribed 15-year minimum for a first-time killer.