Alexander Pacteau sentencing: ‘We hope that he is never released’

John and Marian Buckley arrive at Glasgow High Court for the sentencing of Alexander Pacteau, who admitted killing their daughter Karen. Picture: John Linton/PA

“We hope that he is never released and spends every day in prison haunted by what he did.”

That was the reaction of the parents of Karen Buckley as they welcomed the life sentence handed to the “truly evil coward” who murdered their daughter.

Alexander Pacteau, 21, from Glasgow, showed no emotion as he was sentenced to life in prison for what Judge Lady Rae described as a “brutal, senseless, motiveless attack on a defenceless young woman”.

Pacteau, who bludgeoned the young nurse to death last April and tried to use chemicals to dispose of her body, will have to spend at least 23 years in jail before he is eligible for parole.

Pacteau’s defence counsel John Scullion argued at Glasgow High Court that his client had pleaded guilty and had expressed remorse.

But in a hard-hitting judgment, Lady Rae told Pacteau that he had destroyed a young life and devastated a family. “Your conduct after the killing succeeded only in adding even more pain and suffering onto the Buckley family,” she said.

“As I said at the previous hearing of this case, your killing of this young woman combined with the extraordinary lengths to which you went to cover it up, display the actions of a callous and calculating man.”

She said it was clear from lengthy interviews with the social worker that Pacteau had never expressed or demonstrated any regret until he pleaded guilty in August to Karen’s murder.

She took into account his guilty plea, his eventual expression of remorse and his young age.

Pacteau was led away to spend most of his sentence in Barlinnie Prison — one of Scotland’s toughest jails.

Karen’s parents, John and Marian, who were in court for the short hearing, said the life sentence will not bring their “beautiful Karen back”.

“Our little angel has been taken from us forever in the cruellest of ways. We mourn for her every day,” Mr Buckley said. “It will however ensure that women are safe from harm from the truly evil coward who took our beautiful Karen’s precious life. I hope that he is never released and spends every day in prison haunted by what he did.”

Meanwhile, the woman who accused Pacteau of a sex attack in 2011 welcomed his life sentence. The streets of Glasgow are safer now that he’s locked up, she said.

Pacteau, who was 17 at the time of the alleged attack on the then 24-year-old woman in Glasgow, had denied the charge and was acquitted of attempted rape and sexual assault after a trial in 2013.

After Pacteau pleaded guilty to Karen’s murder in August, the now 28-year-old woman told Scottish media that she had until then accepted she wouldn’t get justice.

“But I believe when he is sentenced, in a strange way, that will be my justice,” she said.

“These past few months have been very hard.

“I feel selfish even uttering such words because it is nothing compared to the pain and suffering of Karen Buckley’s family.”

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