Emma Caldwell murderer lodges bid to appeal against conviction and sentence

Iain Packer, 51, was convicted of murdering Emma Caldwell and also convicted of attacking 21 other women, totalling 33 charges.

Sarah Ward
Wednesday 06 March 2024 13:35 GMT
Emma Caldwell was murdered in 2005 (Family handout/PA)
Emma Caldwell was murdered in 2005 (Family handout/PA) (PA Media)

A serial rapist who was sentenced to life for the murder of Emma Caldwell is planning to appeal against his conviction and sentence, court officials have said.

Iain Packer, 51, was jailed for life with a minimum terms of 36 years after being convicted of murdering sex worker Miss Caldwell in 2005.

He was also found guilty of 11 charges of rape against nine women and convicted of 21 other charges following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow, and is believed to be Scotland’s worst sex offender.

On Monday, he lodged notice of a bid to appeal against his conviction and sentence, the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service said.

Miss Caldwell vanished on April 4, 2005, days after telling her mother, Margaret, that she planned to go to rehab to get off of heroin.

Her naked body was found in Limefield Woods, near Roberton, South Lanarkshire, on May 8 2005, with a “garotte” around her neck, although a pathologist believed she may have been manually strangled.

Packer had been reported to police for rape in 1999 but nothing was done, and he was first reported to have raped an underage girl in 1990.

Judge Lord Beckett said Packer acted on “pathological, selfish and criminal sexual desires”, causing “extreme and enduring suffering for so many women and their families”.

Miss Caldwell was described by her brother, Jamie, as “wanting to help the vulnerable” while Packer “looked for vulnerability and exploited it”, the sentencing judge said.

Mrs Caldwell has campaigned to get justice for her youngest daughter, who turned to heroin after losing her older sister, Karen, to cancer in 1998, for nearly 20 years.

She has called for a public inquiry into the investigation of Packer which left him free to attack other women, and met with First Minister Humza Yousaf at Bute House on Tuesday before a meeting with Police Scotland Chief Constable Jo Farrell on Wednesday.

A spokesperson for Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service said: “Court can confirm an IIA (Intimation of intention to Appeal) against conviction and sentence has been lodged on 04.03.24 on behalf of Iain Packer.”

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