Constantia businessman Rob Packham, who was convicted of murdering his wife, Gill, and burning her body in the boot of her car in February 2018, is going to ask the Supreme Court of Appeal to overturn his sentence of 22 years imprisonment.
Papers have also been served on the National Prosecuting Authority, which has 30 days to file opposing papers.
Packham was convicted by Judge Elize Steyn on June 12 in the Western Cape High Court of his wife’s killing and obstructing the course of justice.
Steyn, deviating from the minimum sentence of 15 years, sentenced the 58-year-old Packham to twenty years for murder and four years, two of which were suspended, for defeating the ends of justice.
In dismissing his application for leave to appeal, Steyn said there were no reasonable prospects for the appeal’s success, or “any other compelling reason why the appeal should be heard”.
This despite Packham’s defence arguing that there were reasonable prospects of another court finding him innocent.
Steyn highlighted the seriousness of the offence, indicating that the court was obliged to sentence the accused to at least 15 years in jail unless “substantial and compelling circumstances” for a less severe sentence could be proven. She added that in her view, there were several factors to justify a greater sentence.
These included that Packham showed disregard for the life of his wife and family; that his wife Gill’s murder was callous, brutal and shocking; that Packham was deceitful in his version of events and that he showed no remorse for the death of his wife.
Steyn said Packham had driven around in her car with the body in the boot after murdering her in her own home and that he had removed the licence plates and later set it alight, the “ultimate morally reprehensible act”.