Man accused of Emma Caldwell murder admits sex assault

Iain Packer, 51, is accused of murdering Emma Caldwell, 27, who went missing in Glasgow on April 4, 2005.

Man accused of Emma Caldwell murder admits sex assault Police Scotland

The man accused of murdering a Glasgow sex worker apologised in court for a sex assault on her which he agreed was “criminal”.

Iain Packer, 51, is accused of murdering Emma Caldwell, 27, who went missing in Glasgow on April 4, 2005 and whose body was found in Limefield Woods, near Roberton, South Lanarkshire a month later.

He faces a total of 36 charges involving offences against multiple women.

In his second day of giving evidence at his trial at the High Court in Glasgow, Packer was asked about an indecent assault on Miss Caldwell in August 2004.

A statement given by Packer to police said: “I continued to hold onto her waist. I was saying, ‘we have agreed before we started, I have paid for this’. She managed to pull away and was upset.”

Prosecutor Richard Goddard KC said: “Why did you carry on?”

Packer said: “I have no idea why I carried on. Something that I’m not very happy about, I’m ashamed of.”

Mr Goddard said: “What you did was criminal.”

Packer said: “Yes.”

Mr Goddard said: “You accept your guilt for indecently assaulting Emma Caldwell.”

Packer said: “Yes.”

Mr Goddard said: “You would know if you had indecently assaulted that poor young woman.”

Packer said: “I apologise for that, it’s not something I’m proud of.”

A witness statement was read from a friend of Miss Caldwell, which said: “I thought he was stalking her or obsessed with her because he would not leave her alone, it got to the point he would drive up behind other punters and basically scare them off.”

Mr Goddard asked Packer if Miss Caldwell was someone he particularly looked out for, but he denied this.

He asked Packer how many women alleged they were strangled by him.

The prosecutor said: “Could it be 11? Are they all lying?”

Packer said: “It can’t be a coincidence if it never happened.”

In 1999, a sex worker reported Packer to police alleging she was raped and handed in identity documents taken from his work van after being advised to do so by a support worker, the court heard.

Mr Goddard said: “Might it be that she took these documents to have paperwork to report a serious rape committed by you?”

Packer said: “I’ve no idea.”

He claimed to have taken six different women to Limefield Woods on six occasions, paying them an additional fee for the 40-minute journey, but only named Emma Caldwell.

Mr Goddard said: “Why did you travel this extraordinarily convoluted route to a remote spot on a hill?”

Packer said: “It was a run in the country.”

He admitted shouting at a sex worker to “take her clothes off”, at Limefield Woods, the court heard.

Mr Goddard said: “She describes going down there in a blue van and you behaved in this way which caused her to become distressed and hysterical, at that spot in Limefield Woods, no more than a month before Emma Caldwell went missing.”

Packer said: “Yes.”

A statement given by Packer said he told the young woman: “This is the second time you’ve f****** done this to me, just take your clothes off and get it f****** over and done with.”

The woman’s statement said she refused to strip, and Packer was “making mad noises” after “shouting at me like he was a different person”, and ranting about how she had “betrayed” him.

It read: “I thought he was going to batter f*** out of me,” and added, “I was petrified out in the middle of nowhere nearly stripped with that nutter.”

Mr Goddard said the woman became “hysterical” when she was taken there by police.

Another alleged victim said Packer chose girls who were “young, vulnerable and on drugs”, after an encounter in a sauna in 2005, the court heard.

Mr Goddard said: “Is that the sort of female you preferred?”

Packer said: “No.”

Mr Goddard added: “She said if she hadn’t been in a place where there were other people about, she had no doubt you would have strangled her to death.”

Packer said: “It wasn’t me.”

The trial continues in front of Judge Lord Beckett.

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