Karen Buckley’s killer abandons appeal over jail sentence

Alexander Pacteau to serve minimum of 23 years for murder of Cork woman in Glasgow

The Sanctuary nightclub in Glasgow where Karen Buckley (inset left) had been before meeting Alexander Pacteau. Pacteau (right).

The Sanctuary nightclub in Glasgow where Karen Buckley (inset left) had been before meeting Alexander Pacteau. Pacteau (right).


The man convicted of murdering Cork woman Karen Buckley in Scotland earlier this year has abandoned his appeal against the sentence imposed on him for the killing.

Alexander Pacteau (21) had appealed the 23 year minimum sentence for the murder of Ms Buckley, from Mourneabbey, on April 12th last in Glasgow.

The appeal against severity of sentence was due to be heard by three judges of the Court of Criminal Appeal sitting in Edinburgh on Friday but Pacteau has abandoned the appeal.

The Scottish Courts Service confirmed it had received notification on Wednesday afternoon and Pacteau will now serve a 23 year term.

Last September Lady Rae sentenced Pacteau from Bearsden in Glasgow to life imprisonment with a stipulation that he serve at least 23 years before he can apply for parole.

It’s understood the Scottish authorities have been in touch with Ms Buckley’s parents, John and Marian from Glynn in Mourneabbey and advised them of the latest development in the case.

The couple travelled to Glasgow when Pacteau first pleaded guilty to their daughter’s murder and again in September when he was sentenced.

Speaking after the sentencing in September, Mr Buckley said that Pacteau’s life sentence would never bring their daughter back but they hoped that he would never be released from jail.

“I hope that he is never released and spends every day in prison haunted by what he did,” said Mr Buckley, adding that his jailing for life would make Glasgow a safer place for women.

At the sentencing, Lady Rae said she found it “extremely difficult to find words appropriate to describe the dreadful crime” committed by Pacteau against the young Irish woman.

A nursing graduate of the University of Limerick, Ms Buckley was a qualified nurse and had come to Glasgow last January to do a Masters in Occupational Therapy at Glasgow Caledonian University.

“Karen Buckley was a young woman in the prime of life,” said Lady Rae before going on to describe the Irish woman as “a much loved member of a close and united family”.

Chance encounter

Lady Rae had heard how police believe that Pacteau murdered Ms Buckley within 20 minutes of meeting her in a chance encounter outside a Glasgow nightclub and offered her a lift home.

“To you, she was a complete stranger .... in a matter of minutes, for some unknown and inexplicable reason, you destroyed her young life and devastated a family,” the judge said.

Lady Rae heard how Pacteau had bludgeoned Ms Buckley to death with a spanner and later tried to dispose of her body by soaking it in a bath of caustic soda.

The judge said she regretted the Crown Prosecution had chosen to withdraw a second charge from the indictment of attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

This second charge covered Pacteau’s post-mortem attempts to destroy Ms Buckley’s body and her hands were somewhat tied by that decision not to proceed with the secondary charge

However she believed she could not ignore Pacteau’s conduct after the killing and it has always been the case that what an accused person does to conceal the crime may be an aggravating factor.

There was only one sentence she could impose for murder which was life but she had to consider the length of punishment part of the term to meet the requirements of retribution and deterrence.

She also had to take into account what discount to give for his early plea but she felt attempts to frustrate the search by trying to destroy her body to find him limited the discount available to him.

She fixed the punishment part of the sentence at 25 years but with a two year discount for his guilty plea, thus requiring Pacteau to serve 23 years before he can apply for parole on the life sentence.