Family of Bournemouth man who murdered wife face 'agonising' wait over parole hearing

Family of Bournemouth man who murdered wife face 'agonising' wait over parole hearing

Samantha Gillingham

Russell Causley

First published in News by , Chief Reporter

THE family of a Bournemouth man who murdered his wife and never revealed what he did with her faces an agonising wait to see whether he will remain behind bars.

As reported in the Daily Echo yesterday, Samantha Gillingham, daughter of Russell Causley, is trying to block his bid for freedom until he reveals what he did with her mum Veronica Packman’s body.

Yesterday, Samantha, along with her son Neil, Causley’s grandson, attended a parole hearing.

Samantha was given a chance to make a statement at HMP Littlehey in Cambridgeshire, where Causley is incarcerated, but now has to wait to find out what will happen.

She had appealed for him to attend the hearing, but he did not.

Speaking to the Echo, Samantha said: “We’ve got a judge, who is chairing the panel, which we’re pleased with, as he’s a judge, and two lay people.

“My father had a barrister there; my father didn’t attend. I’ve been trying for years to ask for him to communicate, but he won’t.

“We will get a decision within two weeks and after that it will go to the Secretary of State to ratify it.

“I do feel that my mother is being forgotten now. I understand you can’t make him talk, but what you do is keep him where he is until he does speak.

“How can you say he’s any different now than he was in 2004, or 1996, or 1993?

“They (the panel) said did I have anything else to say and I said ‘What about my mother?’”

Causley, now 71, was one of the first people in the UK to be convicted of murder in the absence of a body. He was 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.

Samantha, 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.

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