Karen Buckley murderer Pacteau gets life, with a minimum sentence of 23 years

Karen Buckley murderer Pacteau gets life, with a minimum sentence of 23 years

Court latest, by Eoin English: Karen Buckley’s killer Alexander Pacteau has been jailed for life for the brutal murder of the Irish nurse earlier this year.

Judge Lady Rae handed down the mandatory life sentence at a sentencing diet in the High Court in Glasgow this morning.

The judge said he will have to serve a minimum of 25 years in jail with two years discounted, meaning it will be 23 years before he is eligible for parole.

Pacteau, who sat head bowed throughout the 15-minute hearing, showed no reaction.

He is expected to be taken from court shortly to begin his sentence in one of Scotland’s toughest prisons, HM Barlinnie Prison, where he has been in protective custody since pleading guilty to Karen's murder earlier this year.

Karen’s parents, John and Marian Buckley, from Glynn, near Mourneabbey in north Cork, were in court to see the man who killed their daughter jailed.

LIVE UPDATES:

Update 10.15am: Judge Lady Rae has sentenced Alexander Pacteau to life in prison, with a minimum of 23 years before parole.

Lady Rae said he would not be eligible for parole until the punishment part of the sentence is served. He will have to serve 25 years, with two years discounted. The sentence was backdated to April this year.

She said she took into account his youth and guilty plea, and the lack of any record of violence. However, she described his efforts to cover up the crimeas an "aggravating factor which I can weigh against your remorse".

She told Pacteau: "Your conduct after the killing succeeded only in adding more pain to Buckley family."

Pacteau has been led away in silence.

Karen Buckley murderer Pacteau gets life, with a minimum sentence of 23 years

Update 10.10am: Judge Lady Rae describes Pacteau as a "calculated and callous man" who did not express remorse for her murder until he entered a guilty plea on August 11.

Update 10.09am: Judge Lady Rae begins sentencing of Pacteau, saying it is "extremely difficult to find words for the dreadful crime" to which he has plead guilty.

Update 10.05am: Alexander Pacteau expressed remorse for the murder of Karen Buckley, his defence counsel has told his sentencing hearing in Glasgow.

Update 10am: Alexander Pacteau has been brought into court. Proceedings are underway. His defence counsel is addressing the court.

Update 9.59am: Judge Lady Rae has taken her seat. The courtroom is packed as sentencing begins.

Update 9.57am: The parents of murdered Cork nurse Karen Buckley have arrived in court for the sentencing of her murderer Alexander Pacteau.

BACKGROUND

Alexander Pacteau is being sentenced in Glasgow today for the murder of Karen Buckely. Last month, 21-year-old Pacteau pleaded guilty to murdering the nurse from Mourneabbey in Cork.

The Irish Examiner's Eoin English is providing live updates from court as part of our coverage today.

Alexander Pacteau was branded “truly evil” after admitting the crime at the High Court in Glasgow last month.

Pacteau targeted 24-year-old Miss Buckley when she was on a night-out with friends in the city’s west end in April.

A major search followed and her remains were eventually found in a barrel on farmland outside Glasgow.

Miss Buckley’s parents John and Marian travelled from Cork to see Pacteau plead guilty to murder on August 11. They are back in court today to see him sentenced.

He faces a mandatory life sentence when he is sentenced by judge Lady Rae today.

'Every parent's worst nightmare'

Karen, a qualified nurse, had only been in Glasgow for a few months before her killing.

She had recently left her job at an Essex hospital and moved to Scotland to study for a masters degree in occupational health therapy at Glasgow Caledonian University.

Karen Buckley murderer Pacteau gets life, with a minimum sentence of 23 years

Miss Buckley was described as an outgoing woman whose life revolved around her family and friends.

Her father said: ”It is every parent’s worst nightmare. All Karen was doing that night was making her way home when she was randomly targeted by and murdered by a cowardly, vicious criminal.

”He is truly evil and we hope he spends the rest of his life behind bars.”

Pacteau, who described himself as a ”self-employed sales consultant”, has a previous conviction for printing counterfeit money.

It emerged after his conviction that he stood trial in 2013 at the High Court in Paisley accused of attempting to rape a woman in a Glasgow lane. He was found not guilty of the charge.

In the early hours of April 12, he met Miss Buckley outside the Sanctuary nightclub and drove her to nearby Kelvin Way, where he grabbed her neck and delivered about a dozen blows with a spanner.

The killer visited various shops to purchase caustic soda before placing her body in the bath at his flat.

On trips to High Craigton Farm he burned a mattress and clothes before buying a barrel, placing Miss Buckley’s body inside and locking it in a storage unit he had rented.

Pacteau initially claimed to detectives, who identified him from CCTV footage, that she had fallen and injured herself on the bed frame in his flat.

His solicitor John Scullion QC said he could offer no ”rational explanation” for his actions.

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