Tuesday 25 October 2016

'Evil' Pacteau to​ appeal 23-year prison term for Karen's murder

Published 19/09/2015 | 02:30

Murderer Alexander Pacteau
Murderer Alexander Pacteau

Evil killer Alexander Pacteau (21) is to challenge the minimum 23-year prison term he received for the brutal murder of Irish nurse, Karen Buckley (24).

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Pacteau received a mandatory life sentence in Glasgow High Court last week and was warned he would serve a minimum of 23 years before he could apply for parole.

Justice Lady Rae told the former grammar schoolboy the murder was both "callous and calculating".

She also noted that, in one social services report after he had pleaded guilty to Karen's murder, he never once used phrases like "sorry", "remorse" or "regret".

The Irish Independent has learned Pacteau will now appeal the severity of the 23-year minimum prison term.

The Judicial Office for Scotland last night confirmed the legal move.

"Alexander Pacteau lodged a notice of intention to appeal against sentence on September 16, 2015," a spokesperson said.

Pacteau had two weeks from his sentencing date of September 8 to lodge an appeal.

It is understood the challenge will be based on precisely how much consideration the trial judge gave in sentencing to Pacteau's actions after he had bludgeoned the Irish student to death.

Pacteau attacked the University of Limerick nurse just minutes after he had offered her a lift home when she left The Sanctuary nightclub in Glasgow at 1am on April 12.

He bludgeoned Karen to death in his Ford Focus car with a heavy spanner.

The violence of the attack, which involved 13 blows to the head, was so great the imprint of the spanner head was left on her skull.

However, Pacteau later tried to cover his tracks by dissolving Karen's body first in a bath and then a barrel of caustic soda.

He also offered Police Scotland, who had traced him within 36 hours of Karen's disappearance, three different versions as to precisely what had happened in the early hours of April 12.

Pacteau's legal team argued that, because the Crown Prosecution Service did not proceed with a charge of defeating the ends of justice after he entered a murder plea, the actions after Karen's killing could not be taken as an aggravating factor in formulating the sentencing.

The prosecution disputed this, given that Pacteau's actions in trying to destroy Karen's body were included in a detailed, agreed trial narrative.

But Justice Lady Rae acknowledged that her hands were "partly tied" given the Crown decision not to proceed with the additional charge.

She imposed a 25-year prison term but reduced it by two years in light of Pacteau's guilty plea, his young age and his lack of previous convictions for violent crime.

Karen's heartbroken parents, John and Marian Buckley, from Mourneabbey, Co Cork, described Pacteau as an "evil murderer". They said they hope Pacteau spends the rest of his life behind bars and is "haunted every day" by his crime.

Irish Independent

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