Emma Caldwell murder trial: Accused admits using force against alleged victim

The man accused of murdering a Glasgow sex worker gave evidence and said he was “ashamed” of using force on her but denied being a rapist.

Iain Packer, 51, faces 36 charges against multiple women along with the alleged murder of Miss Caldwell, 27, in Limefield Woods, South Lanarkshire, in 2005.

He was acquitted of 10 charges at the end of the prosecution case at a trial at the High Court in Glasgow, and denies the remaining charges citing special defences of consent and incrimination.

Questioned by defence advocate Ronnie Renucci KC, Packer said he used sex workers, including Miss Caldwell, whom he admitted performing a sex act on despite her telling him to stop.

Iain Packer court case
Emma Caldwell’s body was found in woodland in 2005 (Family handout/PA)

Giving evidence, he said a rape allegation in 1990 made him feel “victimised”, and he told his parents, who he lived with in Garrowhill, in Glasgow’s East End, and also threatened to go to police.

Packer told the court he had used “a lot” of sex workers, and said he had taken women to Limefield Woods on six occasions.

He told the court he was “ashamed” of continuing to force sexual contact on Miss Caldwell, behind a billboard in the Barras in Glasgow in August 2004, although he knew she had told him to stop.

Packer said he would only do what sex workers agreed to, and said: “Whatever the sexual act was going to be – every girl had different limits and things they would and wouldn’t do.

“Some would say you can touch my breasts; others would say you can touch but you need to pay for it.”

He denied pulling an imitation firearm on another complainant at Limefield Woods, and rejected an allegation of rape made by another woman in December 2005 or January 2006.

Packer told the court he was not “faithful” in relationships and had used sex workers since the age of 18, sometimes a “maximum eight to 10 times a month”, and the longest period he could recall without paying for sex was around two or three years.

Mr Renucci said: “Would it be fair to say that over the course of considerable number of years you’ve been with a number of sex workers.”

Packer said: “Yes. It would be a lot.”

When asked about Miss Caldwell, Packer said: “I remember Emma saying something, I can’t remember if she said, ‘enough’ or ‘stop’, the exact words.”

Mr Renucci said: “Looking back now when she said words to the effect of no, what do you say about that?”

Packer said: “Bit ashamed. I should have stopped.”

He said Miss Caldwell seemed “fine” afterwards, although two witnesses had given evidence saying she was “distressed”, the court heard.

Packer said he did not have Miss Caldwell’s phone number and the meet was not pre-arranged.

He told the court he lost his temper with another sex worker as he drove her to Limefield Woods, between January and June 2005, and said his behaviour was “disgusting”.

Packer said he had sexual contact with the woman, and said: “Definitely it happened.”

Mr Renucci said: “How many times did you say you had been to Limefield Woods with sex workers?”

Packer said: “Six times.”

Mr Renucci added: “On those six occasions, the complainant was one of those sex workers?”

Packer said: “Yes.”

He also denied raping a girl in 1990 after a Halloween party, when he was aged 19 or 20.

Mr Rennucci said: “At some point did you become aware of the allegation she was making?”

Packer said: “Yeah, that I had raped her. I was shocked.”

When asked if there was any truth in it, he replied: “Absolutely none.”

Packer said: “I said to my mum and dad because I was fed up of getting accused of something. I felt down about getting accused of something I didn’t do. I felt victimised.”

Mr Renucci said: “Did you go to police?”

Packer said: “No.”

Mr Renucci said: “What happened about the allegations, did they continue or did they stop?”

Packer said: “They stopped.”

Mr Renucci said: “In relation to allegations that you raped her – did you rape her?”

Packer said: “No I never raped her.”

The trial continues in front of Judge Lord Beckett.