Wednesday 20 November 2019

Karen was beaten with spanner, say prosecutors​

A candlelight vigil in Garnet Hill Park, Glasgow for tragic Irish student Karen Buckley from North Cork
A candlelight vigil in Garnet Hill Park, Glasgow for tragic Irish student Karen Buckley from North Cork

Adam Cullen

Prosecutors claim that tragic student Karen Buckley was attacked with a spanner and was strangled by the man accused of murdering her.

Alexander Pacteau then allegedly covered her body in "corrosive substances" and put her remains in a barrel before leaving them in a shed on the outskirts of Glasgow.

The allegations emerged after the 21-year-old appeared in the dock at a private court appearance on Friday to answer to the charges.

Mr Pacteau made no plea or declaration and was remanded in custody by sheriff Charles McFarlane.

It is expected that he will appear before the courts again in the coming weeks for a full committal hearing.


Karen had been living in Glasgow for just three months when she disappeared during a night out with friends on Saturday, April 11.

She was last seen on CCTV talking to a man outside the city's Sanctuary nightclub.

The body of the student nurse was discovered in the early hours of Thursday morning after an extensive four-day search.

Court papers claim that on April 12 at his Dorchester Avenue flat and elsewhere, Mr Pacteau repeatedly hit Karen on the head with a spanner.

The murder charge also reads that Mr Pacteau "compressed" the 24-year-old Cork native's neck. He also faces a second charge that he attempted to defeat the ends of justice.

Prosecutors allege that between April 12 and 13 at his west-end flat and at High Craigton, he knowingly tried to dispose of Ms Buckley's body using "corrosive substances".

It is claimed the company director put her body in a plastic barrel and hid it in a storage shed near a rural Glasgow farm.

It is understood that police obtained CCTV footage of him buying a plastic barrel in a DIY store earlier that day.

Specialist underwater units continued to comb an area of Forth and Clyde canal yesterday afternoon.

Earlier, 1,000 candles were lit as neighbours gathered to be part of a silent vigil for Karen, close to where she lived.

Residents of the Garnethill area of Glasgow gathered to remember her.

Around 120 people attended the vigil on Saturday, where they lit candles which were arranged in the shape of a Celtic symbol.

Organiser Jane Sutherland said: "This is just a moment for the neighbourhood to come together.

"Since she went missing, nobody has talked of anything else."

Irish Independent

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