The Daily Telegraph

Wife-killer faces first public parole hearing

- By Charles Hymas Home affairs editor

A Wife-killer who has never revealed the location of his victim’s body is to face the UK’S first public parole hearing.

The Parole Board will determine whether Russell Causley, 79, who was jailed for life for killing Carole Packman in 1985, should be released after his grandson applied for a public hearing to scrutinise the man who had such a serious impact on his life.

Neil Gillingham, the grandson, said he wanted the hearing to shine a light on the “failure”, so far, of legal changes to make it harder to release killers who refuse to reveal the whereabout­s of their victims’ bodies.

It will also be the first case to test new rules requiring the Parole Board by law to take account of a prisoner’s refusal to reveal the location of remains when deciding whether to release them.

Mr Gillingham said: “How evil and sadistic does the murderer need to be? How exceptiona­l does the case need to be? My whole life has been tainted by my grandfathe­r and I want a public hearing to scrutinise the man who has impacted on me for so long.”

Causley evaded justice for almost a decade after his wife’s murder by faking his own death in an insurance scam. He was first convicted of murder in 1996 but this was quashed by the Court of Appeal in June 2003.

He then faced a second trial for murder and was again found guilty and sentenced to life for the killing, committed a year after he moved his new lover into the home he shared with Ms Packman in Bournemout­h, Dorset.

He was freed from prison in 2020, after serving more than 23 years for the murder, but was returned to jail last November after breaching his licence conditions.

Causley will face the Parole Board for review in October. He had opposed an open hearing.

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