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‘No body’ killer Russell Causley could have first public parole hearing

Causley killed his wife Carole Packman in 1985 but has never revealed the location of her body.

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Russell Causley was jailed for life for the murder of his wife Carole Packman (Family handout/PA)

Russell Causley was jailed for life for the murder of his wife Carole Packman (Family handout/PA)

Russell Causley was jailed for life for the murder of his wife Carole Packman (Family handout/PA)

A man who murdered his wife in 1985 could be one of the first prisoners to have a public parole board hearing.

An application has been made for the next hearing to consider the release of Russell Causley, now in his late 70s, to take place in public.

Causley was handed a life sentence for killing Carole Packman, who disappeared in 1985, a year after he moved his lover into their home in Bournemouth, Dorset.

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Carol Packman disappeared in 1985 at the age of 40 (Family handout/PA)

Carol Packman disappeared in 1985 at the age of 40 (Family handout/PA)

PA

Carol Packman disappeared in 1985 at the age of 40 (Family handout/PA)

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

Causley, who never revealed where he hid Ms Packman’s body, is next due to face the Parole Board in October.

His grandson, Neil Gillingham, has applied for the hearing to take place in public.

He is aiming to draw attention to what he sees as the failure of legal changes designed to make it harder to release killers who refuse to reveal the whereabouts of their victim’s bodies.

Mr Gillingham told the PA news agency: “If our case doesn’t qualify for a public hearing, what does?

My grandfather has no shame. I question whether or not he has a heart, and if he does, whether it's made out of stone or fleshNeil Gillingham

“How evil and sadistic does the murderer need to be? How exceptional does the case need to be?

“My grandfather has no shame. I question whether or not he has a heart, and if he does, whether it’s made out of stone or flesh.

“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 initially evaded justice for the best part of a decade after his wife’s murder by faking his own death as part of an insurance scam.

He was first convicted of murder in 1996 but this was quashed by the Court of Appeal in June 2003, and he then faced a second trial for murder and was again found guilty.

Mr Gillingham said Causley has changed his account of what he did with his wife’s body over the years, at one time claiming to have burned her remains and at another to have buried her but refusing to say where.

The application is the second to be received by the Parole Board requesting a public hearing after a rule change earlier this month to allow the public and media to observe proceedings.

Charles Bronson, one of the UK’s longest serving and most notorious prisoners, was the first to request such a hearing.

A date has not been set for his next parole review, although it is thought it could be later this year or early in 2023.

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