Jury told Emma Caldwell accused committed ‘appalling’ crimeson February 16, 2024 at 1:00 pm

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The prosecutor says Iain Packer showed a pattern of violent behaviour which culminated in the murder of Emma Caldwell.

Iain Packer

A jury has been told the man accused of murdering Emma Caldwell had committed “a litany of appalling offences against vulnerable young women”.

In his closing speech, prosecutor Richard Goddard KC said Iain Packer’s violence had “escalated horribly” with the killing the 27-year-old in 2005.

Iain Packer, 51, has admitted he once indecently assaulted Ms Caldwell but has said he did not murder her.

He denies a total of 36 charges against 25 women at his trial in Glasgow.

Mr Goddard told the jury that Mr Packer’s mode of attack on women had become “horribly familiar” during the case.

“We have evidence from 25 women from all different backgrounds and walks of life, speaking to crimes of assault, indecent assault and rape, all committed by the same man over a period of 26 years,” he said.

“That man is Iain Packer and that man told you that all of them are liars.

“The evidence tells us that Iain Packer is a sexually violent man and has been for most of his adult life.”

Mr Goddard described Mr Packer as “an incorrigible user of sex workers” and said his violence towards women was characterised by seizing them by the throat and choking them.

He said the the violence had “escalated horribly” with the murder of Emma Caldwell, who died from compression of the neck.

Mr Goddard also alleged that Mr Packer had left Ms Caldwell at the time of her death, in a location which was “extraordinarily remote” from Glasgow city centre.

Emma Caldwell

Mr Goddard told the jury that if they looked at all of the evidence, they would see a pattern build up.

“A clear picture emerges of Iain Packer and his involvement in this litany of appalling offences against vulnerable young women,” he said.

The prosecutor said 17 of the 25 women alleged to have been attacked by Iain Packer had been sex workers, and some had since died.

He said there was a “cluster” of offences involving sex workers between 2004 and 2006, which was “significant” as it was around the time of Ms Caldwell’s disappearance.

Mr Goddard said: “Rather depressingly, many of them (the women) thought there was little point reporting to the authorities as they felt no one would listen.

“That it was part and parcel of their daily lives which was a tragedy.”

Ms Caldwell’s body was found in Limefield Woods near Biggar, five weeks after her disappearance early in April 2005.

Mr Packer has denied strangling her with his hands and a cable, and disposing of her clothes and belongings to avoid arrest.

He has pled not guilty to a total of 36 charges of physical and sexual violence against multiple women.

On Wednesday, under cross examination, he admitted that an incident in August 2004 involving Ms Caldwell was sexual assault.

He said he had gone with her behind billboards in the east end of Glasgow for sex but refused to stop when asked.

The trial, before Lord Beckett, is entering its closing stages with the defence and prosecution making closing speeches before the jury is sent out to consider its verdict.

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