Emma Caldwell murder accused held knife to woman’s chest, trial told

Iain Packer, 50, denies all the charges against him at the High Court in Glasgow.

Emma Caldwell murder accused held knife to woman’s chest, trial told Police Scotland

A woman claimed murder accused Iain Packer held a kitchen knife to her chest and refused to let her leave a house, a court heard.

Packer, 50, is on trial at the High Court in Glasgow accused murdering sex worker Emma Caldwell, 27, in 2005, and faces 46 charges in total including of sex crimes as well as abduction and assault.

He denies all the charges against him, and has lodged special defences of incrimination, consent, defence of another and self-defence.

The woman, 44, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said Packer made it “very difficult to leave” the house in Lanarkshire, on a date between June and July 2006.

Giving evidence, she said Packer held a kitchen knife to her chest during “two weeks of hell”.

The woman said: “I tried to leave, the door was locked, my phone was taken away. He came through with a kitchen knife and put it to my chest. He said ‘you’re not going’. I said ‘go ahead and do it’.”

She said Packer then “backed off”.

The witness said Packer was “very grumpy, moody, argumentative” in April 2005, around the time when Miss Caldwell went missing, but said she noticed “nothing out of the ordinary” at the time her body was found.

She said: “There weren’t any major changes that I would have noticed apart from he was grumpy with me.”

Cross-examining, Ronaldo Renucci KC questioned her about Packer’s “demeanour” after May 8 when Miss Caldwell’s body was found, asking: “Was there anything out of the ordinary?”

The witness said: “Not that I noticed at that time.”

Packer is accused of strangling Miss Caldwell with his hands and a cable, assaulting her, compressing her wrists, intending to rape her and murdering her at an area of woodland known as Limefield woods in South Lanarkshire on April 5, 2005.

He is further charged with attempting to defeat the ends of justice by allegedly disposing of Miss Caldwell’s body, her mobile phone, clothing and personal belongings, as well as cleaning the interior of a car which belonged to him.

He denies the charges and has lodged a special defence of incrimination.

A woman who Packer is accused of raping told the court she met him in a sauna in Glasgow and said he would come in “once a week” and was not liked.

The woman, 54, who cannot be named for legal reasons, agreed to have sex with Packer at her home in Glasgow’s east end, as she was a single mother and needed money.

She said conditions for the £30 transaction were that Packer used protection and did not touch her intimately, however she alleged he disregarded this.

The witness said she was “disgusted” and said to Packer: “What is it that you’re doing, you do know that you’re not allowed to do that.”

She added: “He didn’t stop.”

The witness said: “I only told a close friend about how I never want to go back to that form of work. Through circumstances I just needed some money to support my children.”

She gave a statement to police in 2006 but did not mention the sex assault, and described telling her children before she went to police in 2021 as “the worst thing I’ve had to do in my life”.

Another witness claimed Packer “followed her into a bathroom” at a party when she was 16, on the same night he allegedly raped a child in 1990.

The woman, 49, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said she attended a party with Packer and a friend to celebrate Halloween where Packer’s behaviour with her was “inappropriate”.

She said: “He was trying to touch me and following me about, getting far too close to me, it was making me uncomfortable.

“At one point I went into a bathroom and he followed me in, there were other people in there who told him to leave.”

The witness said she was “desperate” to get home but had to sleep on a couch, where Packer tried to kiss her.

She said: “He was leaning in, getting right in my face, he was trying to put his hands on me. I just desperately wanted to go home.”

The trial continues before Judge Lord Beckett.

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