Pacteau never showed regret or remorse for killing Karen
Published 09/09/2015 | 02:30
The killer of Karen Buckley never showed remorse or regret for his actions, a court heard as he was jailed for a minimum 23-year life sentence.
Justice Lady Rae said Alexander Pacteau had shown little remorse for the brutal murder of the 24-year-old Irish student as she walked home alone from a nightclub on April 12.
She also said it was "extraordinary" for Pacteau to claim that his efforts to dispose of the young Cork woman's body in first a bath and then a barrel of caustic soda should not be an aggravating factor in deciding the length of his life sentence.
The judge also noted that in one social services report, Pacteau never once used phrases like "sorry", "remorse" or "regret" when talking about Karen's brutal killing.
Pacteau remained silent throughout the 18-minute hearing at Glasgow High Court.
Lady Justice Rae described the murder as "dreadful, very shocking and disturbing".
She noted the "tissue of lies" that Pacteau had told, including writing down a copy of his first statement to police, so he could remember his falsehoods.
"Your killing of this young woman, combined with the extraordinary lengths to which you went to cover it up, display the actions of a callous and calculating man," she said.
"You destroyed her young life and devastated her family."
Pacteau, who had never met Karen, offered her a lift home on Dumbarton Road at 1am on April 12 after she had left 'The Sanctuary' nightclub in Glasgow's west end.
Minutes later, he bludgeoned her to death with a heavy spanner in his Ford Focus car.
Pacteau took Karen's body back to his flat on Dorchester Avenue and attempted to destroy it by using caustic soda and drain unblocking fluid.
He later placed Karen's body in a 220-litre barrel full of chemicals and hid it at an isolated Glasgow hill farm at High Craigton. However, thanks to skilled work by Police Scotland detectives, officers called to Pacteau's flat within 36 hours of Karen's disappearance.
They became immediately suspicious of him because of the overwhelming smell of bleach.
Karen's blood was later found in Pacteau's bedroom and bathroom. The murder weapon was found in the Forth and Clyde canal, where Pacteau had thrown it.
Pacteau has offered three different versions of what happened and now claims that he killed Karen over a minor comment she passed about men in the nightclub.
Glasgow High Court was told by Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland QC that there was no evidence of a sexual assault.
Procurator Fiscal for the West of Scotland, David Harvie, said Pacteau did everything possible to evade justice.
"This was a complex investigation made harder by the fact Pacteau tried to cover up his horrendous crime," he said.
"Firstly, he tried to dispose of Karen's body and then he repeatedly lied to the police about his actions. Pacteau has taken a young woman from her loving family and friends.
"He has shown no remorse and rightly will spend many years in prison."
Justice Lady Rae imposed a 25-year sentence but gave Pacteau a two-year discount because of his plea, his age and his lack of previous violent convictions.
She also agreed to backdate his prison term to April 17.
He will only become eligible for parole in 2038 but can be kept in custody if he is deemed to pose any risk to society.