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Don't jail dad forever, daughter begs judge in Rob Packham murder trial

Kerry Meyer gives evidence in mitigation of sentence at her father Rob Packham's murder trial in the Cape Town High Court on May 22 2019.
Kerry Meyer gives evidence in mitigation of sentence at her father Rob Packham's murder trial in the Cape Town High Court on May 22 2019.
Image: Dan Meyer

"My dad is a kind and caring man," wife-killer Rob Packham's daughter told a Cape Town High Court judge on Wednesday.

Kerry Ann Meyer was giving evidence in mitigation of Packham's sentence after his conviction on Monday for murdering his wife, Gill.

Meyer told judge Elizabeth Steyn that her 57-year-old father was "always concerned about others" and "never showed any violence to myself or my sister [Nicola] or mother".

Meyer is a primary school teacher in the UK, and said she lived with her parents in Riesling Road, Constantia, until 2016.

She told the court her relationship with her father was close, and that they had enjoyed training together for the Cape Town Cycle Tour and other sporting events.

"He was involved from a very early age teaching my sister and me how to catch a ball, and we spent many happy days playing with him."

Meyer said he was "always a breadwinner" and that he did everything he could to ensure the family enjoyed a good life. She and her mother had a good relationship and spoke every day on the phone.

"We had an honest and open relationship, and we could speak about whatever was on our minds," she said. This included details of Packham’s extramarital affair.

Meyer was questioned by Craig Webster, Packham's advocate, about the weeks leading up to her mother's murder in February 2018, specifically about his travels to Johannesburg to spend time with his parents.

Meyer said he went alone to celebrate her grandfather's birthday.

She said her parents' marriage was "normal and happy, and, like any relationship, it had its ups and downs".

Her father's affair caused her mother "a lot of anger", but Gill had been "more than willing to attend counselling as she wanted to work through their marital problems".

To meet the financial obligations of one of Packham's failed businesses, Meyer said they had to sell their family home in Rondebosch, as well as a holiday home in Hermanus, in 2010.

After this they rented a home. Meyer said this created "tension" and "they didn’t really sit down and talk about it".

She added: "My mother was frustrated and cross with him, but she was optimistic that good fortune would fall on her family again. Things got better."

Asked if she had ever seen Packham behaving violently towards Gill, Meyer replied: "Never."

Her last conversation with her mother was on February 21 2018, the day before Packham killed Gill by hitting her over the head, then set fire to her body in the boot of her BMW at Diep River railway station.

"We were talking about a meeting I had with my principal so that I could get special leave to come home for a friend’s wedding," she said.

Describing her father further, Meyer said: "He is a wonderful man and was a wonderful father. He was always there for us and showed that he cared. I ask that you don't put him away forever."

The matter continues.


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