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Alexander Pacteau to be sentenced today

Sentence: Alexander Pacteau
Sentence: Alexander Pacteau

The man who bludgeoned Irish student Karen Buckley to death with a spanner and attempted to dispose her body in a vat of chemicals will be sentenced today.

Alexander Pacteau, 21, was branded "truly evil" after admitting the crime at the High Court in Glasgow last month.

Pacteau targeted 24-year-old Miss Buckley when she was on a night-out with friends in the city's west end in April.

A major search followed and her remains were eventually found in a barrel on farmland outside Glasgow.

Miss Buckley's parents John and Marian travelled from Cork to see Pacteau plead guilty to murder on August 11.

He faces a mandatory life sentence when he is sentenced by judge Lady Rae today.

The qualified nurse had only been in Glasgow for a few months before her killing.

She had recently left her job at an Essex hospital and moved to Scotland to study for a masters degree in occupational health therapy at Glasgow Caledonian University.

Miss Buckley was described as an outgoing woman whose life revolved around her family and friends.

Her father said: ''It is every parent's worst nightmare. All Karen was doing that night was making her way home when she was randomly targeted by and murdered by a cowardly, vicious criminal.

''He is truly evil and we hope he spends the rest of his life behind bars.''

Pacteau, who described himself as a ''self-employed sales consultant'', has a previous conviction for printing counterfeit money.

It emerged after his conviction that he stood trial in 2013 at the High Court in Paisley accused of attempting to rape a woman in a Glasgow lane. He was found not guilty of the charge.

In the early hours of April 12, he met Miss Buckley outside the Sanctuary nightclub and drove her to nearby Kelvin Way, where he grabbed her neck and delivered about a dozen blows with a spanner.

The killer visited various shops to purchase caustic soda before placing her body in the bath at his flat.

On trips to High Craigton Farm he burned a mattress and clothes before buying a barrel, placing Miss Buckley's body inside and locking it in a storage unit he had rented.

Pacteau initially claimed to detectives, who identified him from CCTV footage, that they had consensual sex at his flat and she had fallen and injured herself on the bed frame.

His solicitor John Scullion QC said he could offer no ''rational explanation'' for his actions.