MURDERER Russell Causley “took his freedom for granted” after breaching his parole last year, with a new hearing date yet to be set.

The “evil” killer’s grandson Neil Gillingham says it was made clear to him by parole services that Causley is “not being recommended for release at this stage”.

Russell Causley, now in his late 70s, was handed a life sentence for killing his wife Carole Packman after she disappeared in 1985 – a year after he moved his lover into their home in Bournemouth.

He was one of the earliest people in the UK to be convicted of murder without a body in 1996. This conviction was overturned in 2003, until a retrial the next year found him guilty again.

Causley, who has never revealed the location of his wife’s body, was freed from prison in 2020. In November 2021, he was taken back into custody for breaching standard license conditions.

Bournemouth Echo: Russell Causley with Carole Packman and daughter, SamanthaRussell Causley with Carole Packman and daughter, Samantha

Regarding the possibility of being released again, the Parole Board has received a referral from the Secretary of State for Justice for the case.

No hearing dates have been set yet, however it will likely be a number of months before a hearing is listed.

A Parole Board spokesperson said: "We can confirm the parole review of Russell Causley has been referred to the Parole Board and is following standard processes.

“Parole Board decisions are solely focused on what risk a prisoner could represent to the public if released and whether that risk is manageable in the community. A panel will carefully examine a huge range of evidence, including details of the original crime, and any evidence of behaviour change, as well as explore the harm done and impact the crime has had on the victims.

“Members read and digest hundreds of pages of evidence and reports in the lead up to an oral hearing. Evidence from witnesses including probation officers, psychiatrists and psychologists, officials supervising the offender in prison as well as victim personal statements are then given at the hearing.

“The prisoner and witnesses are then questioned at length during the hearing which often lasts a full day or more. Parole reviews are undertaken thoroughly and with extreme care. Protecting the public is our number one priority.”

In response, grandson Neil told the Daily Echo: “I’ve been given a good indication that he’s not being recommended for release by his probation officer at this stage.

Bournemouth Echo: Neil Gillingham in 2014. Picture: Sally AdamsNeil Gillingham in 2014. Picture: Sally Adams

“I’m content with where my grandfather is. I’ve been taken to the lowest place anyone could go and the last 12 months have been so difficult. The release and [re-imprisonment] has been a real test on our resilience. My mum and I are coming back stronger, a lot healthier and a lot happier.”

Neil, who is himself a father, previously described the Parole Board as “not fit for purpose” after they failed to disclose what Causley had done to breach his parole – a fact he still does not know.

He added: “Russell has a bitterly sad life and he took his freedom for granted. We deserve peace and Carole deserves to rest. I’d urge the Board not to make the same mistake twice. He can’t be trusted and isn’t safe for release.”

Having campaigned throughout his life to keep Causley behind bars, Neil says his mission in life now is to “create a legacy” for his lost grandmother.

He is planning to write a book and hopes to one day set up a sanctuary for victims of domestic abuse which he describes as “not just a pipe dream”.

He said: “I need to make sure my grandmother’s legacy doesn’t fade and I want to inspire others in her name.”