Constantia businessman Rob Packham was sentenced to 22 years in prison for the murder of his wife by the Cape Town High Court.
Rob Packham sentencing
A convicted murder charge carries a minimum penalty of 15 years in prison, but Judge Elize Steyn felt he deserved a stronger sentence of 20 years.
Packham was also given an additional four years for defeating the ends of justice during the investigation, two of which will be served concurrently with the murder charge, leaving the 58-year-old with 22 years behind bars to think about what he’s done.
Packham’s apparent lack of empathy, remorse or sadness at the death of his wife, as well as the fact that he was having an affair at the time, have been constant themes throughout the court proceedings.
“No remorse has been demonstrated by the accused, even during sentencing, by electing not to testify,” prosecutor Susan Galloway told the court when she first argued for a life sentence.
“The accused found himself in circumstances of his own creation … by his continued infidelity.”
Even after Packham was found guilty and arguments were being made about how severe the sentence should be, his daughter Kerry Meyer begged the judge to show her father mercy, but her pleas fell on deaf ears.
“He is no longer a younger man and he is a father of two daughters and their only surviving parent. I am aware of the effect of this sentencing not only on accused but on loved ones of both Rob and Gill,” Judge Steyn said in her sentencing, as reported by IOL.
“The seriousness of the offenses he has been convicted of is self-evident. The court is obliged to sentence the accused to a minimum of 15 years in jail unless there are substantial and compelling circumstances for a lesser sentence.
“The accused was 57 when the crimes were committed. I do not agree that he is a man of advanced years. He is a fit, strong middle-aged individual. Neither of his daughters is a minor.
“The accused was disloyal and deceitful and displayed fatal violence to his wife of more than 30 years. He even attempted to get a colleague to give a false alibi. He was disdainful and disinterested with the investigation. He has shown no remorse,” she added.
“His attitude is self-centered and deceitful, seemingly not concerned with how the murder must have traumatised his daughters. The police became justifiably suspicious and didn’t believe his lies.”