Murder-accused Rob Packham’s bail has been withdrawn after he contacted witnesses, and he must stay in custody until his trial in March over the death of his wife, the Western Cape High Court ruled on Thursday.
“It is not in the interests of justice to allow an accused to abuse his bail conditions, with no consequences,” Judge Elizabeth Baartman ruled
As soon the judge had left the court, Packham sank into his chair and put his head in his hands.
Family went over to comfort him, as he shook in disbelief.
His daughter is getting married on Saturday and he had originally obtained permission to attend the wedding while he was on bail.
A police officer carrying handcuffs said firmly: “Come, Mr Packham.”
Packham disengaged from the fleeting hugs and turned around to offer his wrists to be cuffed.
Packham will go on trial in March on charges of the murdering his wife Gill, who was found dead in the boot of her burnt out BMW in Diep River after she went missing in February.
He also stands accused of defeating or obstructing the ends of justice.
Baartman heard an application on Wednesday to have his bail withdrawn.
The State alleged that he had again sent messages to a witness in the case.
Baartman found that he had indeed breached his bail conditions by contacting a state witness in October, and that he was the author of messages meant for the witness, a former girlfriend.
She and the intermediary in the messages may not be named.
This was the second time Packham had been accused of violating his bail conditions.
After the first bail violation in September, he was ordered to hand over all electronic equipment and his bail was increased from R50 000 to R75 000.
The former manager at the Twizza cold drink company in Cape Town, and former marketing manager for Estee Lauder, had not paid the bail himself.
Because of this, Baartman ordered that it be revoked, but returned to the depositor.
Baartman noted that the witness contacted by Packham had found it “harassing”, and that the accused had disregarded the order of the court.