Breaking: Alexander Pacteau charged with murder of Karen Buckley

Alex Pacteau
Alex Pacteau

21-year-old courier firm director Alexander Pacteau has been charged with murder after remains of student Karen Buckley were discovered on farmland

Pacteau was also charged with 'attempting to defeat the ends of justice' during his court appearance in Glasgow and he has so far entered no plea or declaration.

In a statement the Crown Office said: 

“Alexander Pacteau, 21, from Glasgow, appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court today charged with the murder of Karen Buckley, and with attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

“He made no plea or declaration and was remanded in custody.  

“It is anticipated he will appear again next week for a further hearing.  

“It would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage in proceedings, and we would remind media that this case is now live for the purposes of the Contempt of Court Act 1981.”

Police arrested Pacteau in connection with the death of Miss Buckley, who disappeared following a night out in Glasgow.

Pacteau, who was initially said to be assisting police with their investigation, told officers he left a nightclub with the nurse and was intimate with her on the night of her disappearance.

Alex Pacteau

Police detained him and took him into custody for official questioning at approximately 6.25pm yesterday.

Pacteau, who has appeared in court before in relation to printing counterfeit money, was involved in a serious car crash four years ago and placed in an induced coma for several weeks.

In November 2011, he suffered a broken hip and ribs in the accident and a court heard he was on crutches for six months. 

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Friends raised the alarm on Sunday morning after the 24-year-old failed to return from the Sanctuary nightclub.

A four-day search led police to High Craigton Farm on the north-western outskirts of the city where human remains were recovered last night.

Karen Buckley 

The remains have been formally identified as Miss Buckley and her family have been informed.

Karen moved to Scotland in February and was a first-year occupational therapy student at Glasgow Caledonian University.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan said thoughts and prayers were with her parents John and Marian.

He said:

"On behalf of the government, I wish to express appreciation for all that has been done by the Scottish authorities, and especially Police Scotland in Glasgow, to find Karen and to support the Buckley family throughout this very difficult time."

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

"My thoughts today are very much with the family and friends of Karen Buckley."

Searches had previously focused on Dawsholm Park, where Miss Buckley's handbag was found on Tuesday, and a property in the city's Dorchester Avenue.

Police dogs, divers and a helicopter crew were all tasked in the hunt for the student.

She told friends at the nightspot on Dumbarton Road that she was going to the toilet at around 1am but failed to return and did not have her jacket with her.

People in Glasgow and beyond reacted on social media to the discovery of remains this morning.

Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Martin McGuinness said:

"Very sad news this morning that Scottish Police in their search for Cork student Karen Buckley have found a body. Heartbreakingly sad."

In a statement posted on Twitter, Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) said: "The GCU community is deeply saddened by the recent police reports in the media regarding Karen Buckley.

"Our thoughts are with Karen's family, friends and classmates at this very difficult time.

"GCU's student support service, our academic staff and the advice centre at @GCUSA are available to any students who need support."