John and Marian Buckley, from Glynn, near Mourneabbey in north Cork, arrived in Glasgow Airport yesterday afternoon where they were met by a police liaison officer.
They will be in the South Court of Glasgow High Court at 10am, where Judge Rita Rae is expected to sentence Alexander Pacteau, 21, to life in prison. Pacteau pleaded guilty in court on August 12 to Karen’s murder.
Karen, 24, moved to Glasgow last January to study for a masters 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 when she left the venue alone.
Police believe Pacteau, who was outside, crossed the road to talk to her in what was a completely chance meeting and lured her away with the offer of a lift in his car back to her flat.
However, Pacteau accepted police evidence that he instead drove to Kelvin Way where he bludgeoned her to death in his car — striking her up to 13 times over the head with a wrench.
The court heard he then tried to dissolve her body, first in a bath full of caustic soda in his flat, before later placing her remains in a barrel of caustic soda and hiding that in a shed on a isolated farm on the city’s outskirts.
In a moving statement outside the court last August, Mr Buckley said his family was haunted by the thoughts of Karen’s final moments.
He described Pacteau as “truly evil” and said his family hoped that Pacteau would spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Mr Buckley said his daughter had been randomly targeted and murdered by a “cowardly vicious criminal”.
“Our hearts are broken at the thought of Karen’s final moments on this world,” he said.
The Judicial Office in Scotland has given permission for journalists to live tweet from the courtroom once the sentencing 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.