Belfast Telegraph

Karen Buckley murderer Alexander Pacteau abandons appeal bid

By Hilary Duncanson

The murderer of Irish student Karen Buckley has abandoned his appeal against the sentence imposed on him - two days before he was due to return to court.

Alexander Pacteau, 21, was jailed for a minimum of 23 years in September after he admitted bludgeoning Miss Buckley to death with a spanner in April.

The former public schoolboy then attempted to dispose of the 24-year-old's body in a vat of chemicals.

Judge Lady Rae said he had carried out a "brutal, senseless and motiveless attack on a defenceless young woman" as she sentenced him for murder at the High Court in Glasgow.

Pacteau had lodged papers at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh in a bid to reduce his sentence, with the case due to be heard on Friday.

But the Judicial Office for Scotland confirmed that Pacteau has abandoned his appeal.

The Appeal Court was informed of the move on Wednesday afternoon, meaning the scheduled hearing will no longer be called, a spokeswoman said.

Pacteau originally faced a second charge of attempting to defeat the ends of justice by misleading police and trying to conceal Miss Buckley's body.

The Crown withdrew the charge before his plea and his solicitor John Scullion QC suggested his actions after the killing should not therefore be regarded when considering sentence.

But Lady Rae said she could not ignore Pacteau's conduct following Miss Buckley's death.

The judge told him: ''I regret that the Crown, in withdrawing charge two, has to some extent tied my hands in relation to this sentence.

''After reflecting on submissions, I have come to the view that I cannot ignore your conduct after the killing.''

Miss Buckley, who was studying for a masters degree in occupational health therapy at Glasgow Caledonian University, was on a night out to the Sanctuary nightclub in the city when she was preyed on by Pacteau.

In the early hours of April 12, he was captured on CCTV chatting to her outside the nightclub.

He then drove her to nearby Kelvin Way, where he grabbed her neck and delivered about a dozen blows with a spanner.

He took her body to his flat where he stored it in the bath and in the days that followed made trips to a farm on the outskirts of Glasgow where he burned a mattress and clothes.

Pacteau purchased caustic soda and a barrel and placed Miss Buckley's body inside before leaving it in a locked storage unit he rented.

He initially claimed to detectives, who identified him from CCTV footage, that they had consensual sex at his flat and she had fallen and injured herself on the bed frame before leaving.

Miss Buckley's parents John and Marian Buckley have said they hope the ''truly evil coward'' is never released from jail.

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