Predator to spend life behind bars after strangling woman to death and dumping her naked body in woods

28 February 2024, 14:58 | Updated: 28 February 2024, 16:47

Emma Caldwell was killed in 2005 and her body was found in woods 40 miles from Glasgow
Emma Caldwell was killed in 2005 and her body was found in woods 40 miles from Glasgow. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

A serial rapist has been sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 36 years for murdering sex worker Emma Caldwell and attacking multiple other women.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Iain Packer, 51, has been sentenced to life with a minimum of 36 years after being found guilty of murdering Emma Caldwell in 2005.

Packer was found guilty on Wednesday morning for murdering Miss Caldwell, 27, who went missing in Glasgow on April 4, 2005 and whose body was found in Limefield Woods, near Roberton, South Lanarkshire, the following month.

He was also convicted of raping 11 women among dozens of other charges, following a six-week trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

The family of Emma Caldwell said Police Scotland failed their daughter and the rape victims of Iain Packer due to a "toxic culture of misogyny and corruption", adding in a statement: "Instead of receiving justice and compassion, they were humiliated, dismissed and in some instances arrested, whilst the police gifted freedom to an evil predator to rape and rape again."

Police Scotland has apologised for failings in the investigation into the murder of sex worker Emma Caldwell.

Assistant Chief Constable Bex Smith said: "Police Scotland launched a re-investigation of the case in 2015 after instruction from the Lord Advocate.

"It is clear that further investigations should have been carried out into Emma's murder following the initial enquiry in 2005. The lack of investigation until 2015 caused unnecessary distress to her family and all those women who had come forward to report sexual violence."

Miss Caldwell vanished days after telling her mother Margaret about her hopes to kick a heroin addiction, which began following a family bereavement in her early 20s.

The site where Emma Caldwell was murdered in Limefield Woods, South Lanarkshire
The site where Emma Caldwell was murdered in Limefield Woods, South Lanarkshire. Picture: Alamy

She came from a close-knit family and saw both parents twice a week and spoke to them daily, and was reported missing after she failed to respond to attempts by them to change a planned meeting.

A dog walker found Miss Caldwell's body in woodland, with a "garotte" around her neck, on May 8, 2005.

During Packer's trial, the court heard a soil sample taken in 2021 from the site where Miss Caldwell's body was found was a "97% match" with soil found in his blue work van, and Packer was charged by police in February 2022.

Packer denied all the charges - accusing all the women of lying - but admitted during evidence that he indecently assaulted Miss Caldwell.

He said he was "ashamed" of his actions towards her, and described his behaviour towards another sex workers as "disgusting".

But he denied murdering Miss Caldwell in his evidence, telling the court: "It wasn't me who killed her. It wasn't me. I didn't do anything to her."

The trial heard evidence from multiple women about Packer's brutal attacks on them.

Prosecutor Richard Goddard KC described Packer as a "violent" and "obsessive" user of sex workers with an "unhealthy addiction" to procuring their services.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

The Israeli Iron Dome air defence system launches to intercept missiles fired from Iran

Israel hails ‘success’ in blocking Iran’s unprecedented attack

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned that the Middle East is 'on the brink'

'The Middle East is on the brink,' UN chief warns, as Israel approves plan of attack after huge Iranian onslaught

Elections 2024 Media Debates

News organisations urge Joe Biden and Donald Trump to agree to debates

Survivors of the attack are set to sue MI5

Hundreds of survivors of Manchester Arena bombing to sue MI5

The UK is set to experience some warm, dry weather

Two-week period when Brits to bask in warm, dry weather revealed, after cold period ahead

Lennix died after being hit by a car on Saturday

Parents pay tribute to 'happy go lucky' son, 8, killed in crash while riding scooter on quiet Wiltshire road

Damien Guerot stepped in in Sydney

Builder who wielded bollard to defend children from rampaging Sydney knifeman says attacker's 'eyes were empty'

The IDF said over 300 weapons were fired by Iran.

Israel approves plan of attack after foiling massive Iran onslaught, as world leaders call for 'stabilisation'

The G7 have condemned the Iran attack on Israel

G7 leaders condemn Iran's 'unprecedented' attack on Israel and say they 'stand ready to take further measures'

Russia Ukraine War

More civilians die in Ukraine amid warning US aid delays will hamper Kyiv forces

The minibus lying on its side

Seventeen rushed to hospital after bus carrying football fans overturns on motorway in multiple car smash

Bill Nighy

Bill Nighy and Paloma Faith join celebrities demanding Government act over Sudan

Dawn Singleton was among six victims of the stabbings

Police officer fiancé of Sydney stabbing victim 'discovered she had been killed after being scrambled to the scene'

The IDF said over 300 weapons were fired by Iran.

Israel says Iran conflict 'not over' and vows to 'collect a price when timing is right', as US urges restraint

Poland Abortion

Polish opponents of abortion march against recent steps to liberalise strict law

A boy, 8, was killed in the incident.

Boy, 8, dies after crash on quiet Wiltshire cul-de-sac