The Scottish courts system has given special permission for journalists to cover the sentencing of Karen Buckley’s killer Alexander Pacteau live on Twitter.
Pacteau, 21, who pleaded guilty in August to the brutal murder of the young Irish nurse in Glasgow last April, is facing life in prison ahead of his sentencing diet in Glasgow tomorrow morning.
He will be brought from protective custody in one of Scotland’s toughest prisons, HM Barlinnie Prison, for sentencing before Judge Rae at Glasgow High Court at 10am.
Karen’s parents, John and Marian Buckley, from Glynn, near Mourneabbey in north Cork, and her brothers Brendan, Kieran, and Damian, are all expected to attend the hearing.
The judicial office in Scotland can, in certain circumstances, make special arrangements for the coverage of legal cases it feels are in the public interest.
And it confirmed over the weekend that in this case, the court has given permission for journalists to live tweet proceedings once the sentencing diet gets under way.
The court has also given permission for Sky News to record the judge’s sentencing comments for broadcast and distribution to other media outlets later in the day. Her comments are also expected to be published in full online afterwards.
Pacteau pleaded guilty in court on August 12 last to Karen’s murder.
Karen, 24, moved to Glasgow last January to study for a master’s degree in occupational therapy at Glasgow Caledonian University.
She had been enjoying a night out with friends in the city’s Sanctuary nightclub on the night of April 11 last when she left the venue alone.
Police believe that Pacteau, who was outside, crossed the road to talk to her in what was a completely chance meeting.
Detectives believe he then lured her away with the offer of a lift in his car back to her flat.
Karen’s disappearance sparked a major police investigation and search operation.
Pacteau, who was arrested within days, at first claimed they had consensual sex in his apartment before Karen left but there was no evidence that Karen had been sexually assaulted.
Pacteau later accepted police evidence that he instead drove to Kelvin Way where he bludgeoned her to death in his car.
She was struck up to 13 times over the head with a 30cm wrench.
An autopsy found that injuries to her hands and arms were consistent with an effort to fend off the brutal attack.
The court heard that Pacteau then tried to dissolve her body first in a bath full of caustic soda in his flat.
He then put her remains in a barrel of caustic soda before hiding that in a shed on an isolated farm on the city’s outskirts.
Judge Rae told Pacteau at the time that it was a shocking and disturbing case in which he had killed a young woman who was a stranger to him in what appeared to be a “motiveless, senseless, brutal attack”.
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