Rob Packham sent me info on murder case after he was fired, HR officer tells judge

13 March 2019 - 14:36 By Philani Nombembe
Rob Packham is on trial in the Cape Town High Court for the murder of his wife, Gill, in February 2018.
Rob Packham is on trial in the Cape Town High Court for the murder of his wife, Gill, in February 2018.
Image: Esa Alexander

Alleged wife-killer Rob Packham surprised a human resources officer at the beverage  company that had just fired him when he sent her information about the murder case.

Terri Adams took the stand on the third day of Packham's trial in the high court in Cape Town on Wednesday.

Adams testified that Packham e-mailed her on May 8 2018 to inquire about his provident fund after he was dismissed from Twizza after a disciplinary hearing.

She was alarmed when he sent her a statement he made to the police about his wife's death.

"I was not sure why it was sent to me," said Adams. "I felt I must send the e-mail to my superior. I wanted to know if we should forward it to the police because I did not request the information."

Under cross-examination from Packham's counsel, Craig Webster, Adams said she was a witness at the disciplinary hearing that led to Packham's dismissal.

"There is no magic to it," said Webster. "He just wanted [the company] to hear his side of the story. Wouldn't that be fair?"

Gill Packham, who was murdered in February 2018.
Gill Packham, who was murdered in February 2018.
Image: Pink Ladies

Packham, from Constantia, is accused of killing his wife, Gill, and burning her remains in her car on February 22 2018. Packham has pleaded not guilty to murder and defeating the ends of justice.

Tarryn Steed, a supervisor at the licence-plate recognition control room in Constantia, told Judge Elizabeth Steyn that after Gill's car caught fire at Diep River railway station, she compared footage of the vehicle with one that was seen driving in the vicinity without registration plates. Steed said it fitted the description of Gill's car.

"The occupant in the vehicle [without registration plates] that was observed had a blue sweater on … and was big in stature," said Steed.

"He also had eyewear or glasses on. I went back in the system and found what the deceased's car looked like with the licence plates on. I immediately knew that the driver was different."

Webster sought to poke holes in Steed's evidence. He said the images handed in to court were not clear and it was difficult to determine the stature of the driver.

Packham allegedly killed Gill, put her body in the boot of her car and set it alight at Diep River railway station in February.

According to the state, Packham was bust by licence-plate recognition cameras that showed him driving Gill's BMW, while cellphone towers showed that he drove around Constantia on the day of her disappearance.

Gill's charred body was found in the boot of the car after firefighters extinguished the flames. A post-mortem examination showed that blunt-force trauma to the head killed her. The trial continues.