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Wednesday 7 December 2016

Buckley family remember their 'little angel' after the trauma of coming face to face with 'despicable' Pacteau

John Buckley with his wife Marian Buckley outside Glasgow High Court, Glasgow, after Alexander Pacteau admitted beating their daughter Karen to death with a spanner then trying to dispose of her body using caustic soda. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday August 11, 2015. See PA story COURTS Pacteau. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
John Buckley with his wife Marian Buckley outside Glasgow High Court, Glasgow, after Alexander Pacteau admitted beating their daughter Karen to death with a spanner then trying to dispose of her body using caustic soda. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday August 11, 2015. See PA story COURTS Pacteau. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Detective Superintendent Jim Kerr making a statement outside Glasgow High Court, Glasgow, after Alexander Pacteau admitted beating Karen Buckley to death with a spanner then trying to dispose of her body using caustic soda

MARIAN Buckley held a photograph of her daughter Karen in her trembling hand as she stood outside Glasgow High Court.

MARIAN Buckley held a photograph of her daughter Karen in her trembling hand as she stood outside Glasgow High Court.

Karen was pictured wearing a yellow dress and clutching a bouquet of cream roses at her brother's wedding.

Her beaming, all-encompassing smile on that happy day was in stark contrast to yesterday's traumatic court hearing where Karen's family watched her killer, Alexander Pacteau, plead guilty to her horrific murder.

Afterwards, Marian's husband John spoke of the beautiful daughter they lost.

Detective Superintendent Jim Kerr making a statement outside Glasgow High Court, Glasgow, after Alexander Pacteau admitted beating Karen Buckley to death with a spanner then trying to dispose of her body using caustic soda
Detective Superintendent Jim Kerr making a statement outside Glasgow High Court, Glasgow, after Alexander Pacteau admitted beating Karen Buckley to death with a spanner then trying to dispose of her body using caustic soda

"One word keeps coming out and that's Karen is our little angel," said John Buckley as his wife gave a tiny smile and a nod of agreement.

Behind her were Karen's three brothers, Kieran, Brendan and Damien, two with their partners as they suffered together in their grief having spent the morning face-to-face with her cowardly killer.

Pacteau (21), was a blank-faced, hulking figure in a grey pinstriped suit as he was brought up from the holding cell in the bowels of the court.

trepidation

He never spoke during the court proceedings and sat just a mere six paces away from the Buckley family but never glanced at them.

There was trepidation when it began to appear as though this plea hearing would not be going ahead.

There was just one charge - murder.

This had been a change from the original charge sheet, which had included the charge of "defeating the ends of justice".

The prosecution said that the way in which Pacteau had disposed and concealed the remains should be taken into account by the length of the sentence.

However, the defence had already agreed to a "narrative" outlining the manner in which Pacteau had taken Karen's life and then disposed of her body.

The judge expressed concern over the clash, there was difficult legal argument and the court rose for an adjournment to allow her to consider the situation.

A decision was made a short time later: the case was going ahead.

declaration

Pacteau returned from his cell and signed his name to the declaration of guilt.

Karen's father shook his head briefly, almost in dazed disbelief.

The court was told how the night of April 11 played out with Karen and her friends, who were socialising in The Sanctuary club.

Pacteau, meanwhile, had been drinking in his flat with friends before he drove to the same club.

Police Scotland Detective Inspector Jim Kerr said afterwards that they were satisfied Pacteau had left the club to deliberately prey on women.

If it had not been Karen, it would have been some other girl. She was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The court heard that they did not know what had transpired between the two after they met outside, but CCTV showed them walking towards the accused's car.

Pacteau used a spanner to brutally batter her to death.

barrel

Karen's family heard the twisted tale of how Pacteau had set about trying to dispose of her remains using litres of caustic soda and a large blue barrel.

Afterwards, Det Insp Kerr said they were aware he had been obsessed with US TV series Breaking Bad, which had shown the same method he had attempted to use. Pacteau's barrister expressed words of apology from his client.

Karen's father showed his anger at the man who took his daughter's life, his face grimacing as he shook his head emphatically.

The killer's level of violence was "wicked", said the judge, and the way he had attempted to dispose of Karen's body had been "despicable and beneath contempt".

Pacteau was sent back to custody still utterly devoid of emotion without a glance at the Buckley family.

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