Karen's evil killer faces sentencing tomorrow
Three harrowing victim impact statements outlined to a Scottish judge how Alexander Pacteau's savage murder of Irish nurse Karen Buckley left her family "absolutely devastated".
Pacteau (21) will be sentenced tomorrow before Glasgow High Court for the horrific murder of the 24-year-old Cork student on April 12 last.
While Pacteau faces a mandatory life sentence, Justice Lady Rae will specify precisely how many years the former Scottish grammar schoolboy must serve in prison before he can be considered for parole.
Karen's family has made it clear they want him to spend the rest of his life behind bars.
The Judicial Office for Scotland has given permission for Sky News to record the sentencing hearing for broadcast once the court business is concluded.
The Herald has learned the three victim impact statements tendered to Justice Lady Rae when Pacteau pleaded guilty on August 11 outline the scale of the devastation his crime visited on the Buckley family.
The unreleased statements from Karen's parents, John (62) and Marian (61), and on behalf of her brothers, Kieran, Damien and Brendan, detail the heart-breaking impact of the killing.
The three statements particularly outline the suffering of the family when their only daughter and sister had to be buried in a closed coffin in her native Mourneabbey in north Cork.
Pacteau had placed Karen's body in a barrel of caustic soda to dispose of her remains after he killed her.
However, because Scottish prosecutors did not proceed with a specific charge against Pacteau over his attempts to dispose of Karen's body, his defence team has insisted that his actions after the murder of the nurse cannot be taken as an aggravating factor.
This has been disputed by the Lord Advocate, Frank Mulholland QC, given that the full details of Pacteau's actions were included in an agreed trial narrative.
Justice Lady Rae must also give Pacteau credit for his guilty plea in framing his sentence.
Pacteau admitted murdering Karen's at Kelvin Way in Glasgow just minutes after she had left 'The Sanctuary' nightclub alone.
She sustained 13 violent blows to the head.