Friday 23 March 2018

Killer of Irish nurse to be jailed at Glasgow High Court

Karen Buckley
Karen Buckley
Alexander Pacteau

Ralph Riegel in Glasgow

Three harrowing victim-impact statements have outlined to a Scottish judge how Alexander Pacteau's savage murder of Irish nurse Karen Buckley left her family "absolutely devastated".

Pacteau (21) will be sentenced tomorrow before Glasgow High Court for the horrific murder of the 24-year old Cork student on April 12.

While Pacteau faces a mandatory life sentence, Justice Lady Rae will specify precisely how many years the Scottish man must serve in prison before he can be considered for parole.

Karen's family have made it clear they want him to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

The Judicial Office for Scotland has given permission for Sky News to record the sentencing hearing for broadcast.

The Irish Independent has learned that the three victim-impact statements tendered to Justice Lady Rae when Pacteau pleaded guilty on August 11 outline the sheer scale of the devastation his crime visited on the Buckley family.

Alexander Pacteau
Alexander Pacteau

The unreleased statements from Karen's parents, John (62) and Marian (61), and on behalf of her brothers, Kieran, Damien and Brendan, detail the heartbreaking impact.

Read more: Sentencing of Karen Buckley's killer Alexander Pacteau to be broadcast on live TV

They outline the family's suffering when their only daughter and sister had to be buried in a closed coffin in her native Mourneabbey in north Cork.

Pacteau had placed Karen's body in a barrel of caustic soda in a bid to dispose of her remains.

However, because Scottish prosecutors did not proceed with a specific charge against Pacteau over his attempts to dispose of Karen's body, his defence team has insisted that his actions after the 24-year-oldnurse's murder cannot be taken as an aggravating factor in sentencing.

This has been disputed by the Lord Advocate, Frank Mulholland QC.

Justice Lady Rae must also give Pacteau credit for his guilty plea.

Pacteau admitted that he murdered at Kelvin Way in Glasgow, just minutes after she had left The Sanctuary nightclub alone in the early hours of April 12.

He first tried to strangle her, before beating her to death with a heavy 30cm spanner. She sustained 13 blows so violent that the imprint of the spanner head was left in her skull.

Karen's father has publicly called for Pacteau to spend the rest of his life in prison for the horrific killing of his daughter.

"All Karen was doing was making her way home when she was randomly targeted and murdered by a cowardly, vicious criminal," he said.

Irish Independent

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