Tyre questions leave Rob Packham ruffled on the witness stand

16 April 2019 - 14:19 By Sumin Woo and Stender Von Oehsen
Rob Packham during cross-examination in the Cape Town high court on Tuesday.
Rob Packham during cross-examination in the Cape Town high court on Tuesday.
Image: Anthony Molyneaux

The wheels nearly fell off alleged wife-killer Rob Packham’s defence on Tuesday - or at least the tyres.

Taking the stand for the second consecutive day at the high court in Cape Town, the businessman was asked why he had changed the tyres on his Audi in 2018.

Photos showed the tyres fitted to the car in August differed from those it had in February, when Packham is accused of having murdered his wife Gill.

"I did not change the tyres on the vehicle. I object to that question and insinuation," Packham told prosecutor Susan Galloway.

A police comparison between a tyre pattern found near Diep River railway station and a tyre fitted to Rob Packham's Audi on the day after Gill Pakham's murder.
A police comparison between a tyre pattern found near Diep River railway station and a tyre fitted to Rob Packham's Audi on the day after Gill Pakham's murder.
Image: Anthony Molyneaux

The trial has heard police evidence that the original tyres found on the car last February could match tracks found near Diep River railway station the day Gill Packham was murdered.

But by August the tyres were different.

Packham questioned the accuracy of the photos because the number plate wasn’t pictured: "It might be [a photo of] my tyres; they could be anybody's."

But Galloway pointed out that the tyre photographs were part of a set taken by police when they visited Packham's Constantia home the day after Gill's car caught fire with her body in the boot.

Tuesday's cross-examination saw Packham grow testier with Galloway, regularly interrupting her questions. This was in contrast to the previous day's testimony, when Packham appeared calm and collected. 

During an exchange about a message to his mistress on the morning of the alleged murder, Packham got agitated when pressed about which of his two phones he had used to send the message. "Maybe you’d like to ask your cellphone expert that," he told Galloway.

The state alleges that Packham killed his wife by hitting her over the head in their garage, putting her in the boot of her car and setting it on fire at Diep River railway station last February.

The trial continues.

The prosecution has laid out a sequence of events to explain what it believes happened to Gill on the day of her disappearance and what role Rob played in her death.


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