A WOMAN whose mother was murdered by her father is attending a parole hearing today in a bid to ensure he stays behind bars.
Samantha Gillingham is determined to block Russell Causley’s bid for freedom until he reveals what he did with Veronica Packman’s body.
Causley, who is now 71 years old, was one of the first people in the UK to be convicted of murder in the absence of a body.
He has been found guilty of the same offence twice, having been released on appeal in between.
Veronica Packman, known as Carol, went missing from the family home in Ipswich Road, Westbourne, in 1985 shortly after visiting a solicitor to enquire about getting a divorce.
About a year before Mrs Packman went missing, her husband moved his mistress Patricia Causley into the house in Westbourne.
Mrs Gillingham, then only 16, remembers coming back from a day in London with her father in June 1985 and finding her mother’s wedding ring in the kitchen with a note saying she had left.
She found her mother’s clothes, jewellery and Rolex watch were still in the bedroom and a favourite red evening dress had been deliberately ripped.
“Somebody set the scene for when I came home,” she said.
Mrs Packman’s disappearance was not discovered by police until eight years later when Causley staged his own disappearance from a yacht off the Channel Islands with the aim of making a huge insurance claim.
Causley is currently detained at HMP Littlehey in Cambridgeshire so Samantha and other family members are travelling there for the hearing today.
She said: “He should not have been allowed to move to a lower category prison, let alone ask to be released, without telling us what he did with my mother’s body.
“We have been suffering for nearly 30 years because of what he did. Prison is supposed to be about rehabilitation and the first step would be to admit what he has done and tell us where she is so we can have a decent, Christian funeral.”
Samantha, who now lives in the Northampton area, has been told her father will not be present at the parole hearing, despite her request for him to be there.
“I want him to hear what this has done to me and everybody else. “I don’t care how many years he has been in there, I just want to know where she is.
“As time goes on, people try to tell me to leave it alone and get on with my life. I try to get on with things but every day there is something that reminds me that I need to find out what happened to her and where she is.”