Carole Packman: Killer husband refused open prison move

  • Published
Carole PackmanImage source, Family handout
Image caption,
Carole Packman disappeared in 1985 and her body has never been found

A husband who killed his wife and has never revealed the location of her body has been refused a move to an open prison.

Carole Packman, 40, disappeared from the family home in Bournemouth in 1985.

Russell Causley was twice jailed for her murder - in 1996 and, after a quashed conviction, again in 2004.

The Parole Board recommended the move but it was refused by the Secretary of State for Justice David Gauke.

A Prison Service spokesperson said: "The Secretary of State may reject a Parole Board recommendation where he does not consider that there is a wholly persuasive case for transferring the prisoner to open conditions."

Sam Gillingham, the daughter of Mrs Packman and Causley, previously described the recommendation for a move to a category D prison as a "slippery slope" to her 75-year-old father's release.

Speaking to the BBC, she said: "Sense has prevailed and I feel as if I have been given a bit of a breather.

"It was another hurdle and now we've put that one to bed."

She described the past 11 months in the lead-up to the decision as an "emotional roller coaster".

Image source, Sam Gillingham
Image caption,
For years, Sam Gillingham believed her mother had walked out on her as a child

Despite repeatedly asking him where her mother's body is, Causley has remained silent.

For years Mrs Gillingham believed her mother had walked out on her when she was 16 after finding a note, seemingly written by Mrs Packman explaining she was leaving.

A year earlier, Causley had invited his 26-year-old colleague Patricia Causley into the family home as a lodger and they became lovers. He later changed his surname to hers.

Causley was eventually arrested for fraud, and subsequently murder, when he faked his own death in order to claim his own life insurance.

Image caption,
Mrs Gillingham does not believe her father should be released on parole until he reveals what he did with her mother's body

He was first convicted of Mrs Packman's murder by a jury at Winchester Crown Court on 18 December 1996.

In June 2003, the murder conviction was quashed by the Court of Appeal after his alleged confessions were deemed unsafe.

A retrial found him guilty a year later, after his sister broke her silence - telling jurors she had heard her brother admit his crime.

He became eligible to be considered for release in 2012.

Image source, Family handout
Image caption,
Patricia Causley moved into the family home and started having an affair with Causley

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