Alexander Pacteau pleads guilty to the murder of Karen Buckley

Alexander Pacteau's mug shot
Alexander Pacteau's mug shot

Alexander Pacteau has pleaded guilty to the murder of Irish student Karen Buckley in April this year.

Gruesome details of the murder have also emerged.

Pacteau first attempted to strangle the petite Cork nurse in his car before battering her to death with a heavy spanner.

She was struck up to 13 times in the head with the spanner and, such was the violence of the attack, the imprint of the wrench’s head was left in her skull.

It also emerged that Karen bravely fought for her life.

Karen, a University of Limerick (UL) nursing graduate, was murdered just minutes after she left ‘The Sanctuary’ nightclub on Glasgow’s Dumbarton Road at 1am on April 12.

She had been out with friends but decided to leave to prepare for the final semester of her Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy at Glasgow Caledonia University.

Tragically, Karen decided to walk home alone and accepted a lift from Pacteau who she had never met before.

Pacteau had been in ‘The Sanctuary’ club with his friends but had left before Karen.

He had been drinking heavily.

The murder took place in Pacteau’s Ford Focus car and, over the next 36 hours of April 12/13, the young man desperately tried to cover his tracks and hide evidence of the killing.

He later placed Karen’s body in a blue plastic barrel together with 40 litres of caustic soda.

The barrel was then hidden in a storage shed on an isolated Glasgow hill farm.

Pacteau confirmed his guilty pleas today before the Honorable Justice Lady Rae in the North Court of Glasgow’s High Court complex.

Pacteau was charged with the murder of the Cork woman one week after her disappearance from a Glasgow nightclub on April 12 this year.

A massive search was put in place to try and find Karen and her remains were discovered four days later at High Craigton Farm on the outskirts of the city. 

Pacteau appeared in Glasgow High Court this morning, with the Buckley family present.