Emma Caldwell accused was ‘white as sheet’ after BBC interview

Emma Caldwell
Image caption,Emma Caldwell’s body was found in a remote part of South Lanarkshire five weeks after she went missing

The man accused of murdering Emma Caldwell was as “white as a sheet” after being interviewed by a BBC Scotland journalist about the killing.

One of Iain Packer’s former partners told the High Court in Glasgow that he looked as if he was being “found out”.

Samantha Poling questioned him for a documentary in February 2019.

Mr Packer, 51, denies a total of 46 charges involving multiple women, including the murder of 27-year-old Ms Caldwell in 2005.

The witness – now aged 49 – had previously lived with Mr Packer having initially got to know him in 2012.

She was asked on Wednesday about interviews Mr Packer had done with Ms Poling for a documentary about Emma Caldwell’s murder.

The woman said she had gone with him to the interview but was not allowed to join him while it took place.

Prosecutor Richard Goddard asked her about Mr Packer’s “demeanour” after the second of those interviews in 2019.

“His face was grey. He had walked down to the cafe after 15-20 minutes in the interview,” she said.

“He was white as a sheet. You could see something had gone badly wrong. It was as if it was all closing in on him.

“He was saying: ‘They are blaming me for Emma’. They had kept asking the same questions over and over again.

“My gut instinct was this is not going away.”

The woman later said: “It was written all over his faceā€¦that he was being found out. That is the only words I can describe.”

Mr Goddard put to the witness that Ms Caldwell had been a “topic of conversation” during the time they knew each other.

“At the beginning, did he claim to you where he was at the time Emma went missing?” he said.

The woman replied: “He said he was at home (with a child he knew) looking after her.”

Exterior of the High Court in Glasgow
Image caption,Iain Packer is on trial at the High Court in Glasgow

Asked if his “story” had later changed, she said Mr Packer commented that he was “up at work in Aberdeen or something”.

Mr Packer’s lawyer, Ronnie Renucci KC, later asked the witness about how affected he appeared to be after the interview.

He said: “In effect, you understood he was saying that they were blaming him for Emma Caldwell’s murder. If someone is blaming you for that, it is not something that you would take well?”

She replied: “No.”

Earlier in her evidence, the woman accused Mr Packer of choking her while she lay in bed after an argument.

She said: “I just closed my eyes. I could not move. What else could I do?

“I just froze and waited for it to be over. He had grabbed the windpipe part with two hands and squeezed really, really hard.”

She described Mr Packer’s face as being “totally blank” while he did this, but then it was as if “a light switched on” and he stopped and walked out of the room.

He was said to have offered no reason as to why he had done it.

The trial, before judge Lord Beckett, continues.

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