Australia

Nine years jail for Melbourne wife killer Borce Ristevski

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A Melbourne husband and father who killed his wife, dumped her body in bushland, then lied to cover up his crime, has been jailed for nine years.

Borce Ristevski, who killed his wife Karen before dumping her body in Victorian bushland and spinning a "web of lies" has been jailed for nine years for the high-profile manslaughter.

The 47-year-old victim was found covered in branches eight months after she went missing in 2016, with Ristevski lying to his bride's family and taking part at her funeral as a pallbearer, playing the part of an "innocent, grieving widower".

Borce Ristevski arrives at Melbourne Supreme Court. He will spend almost a decade behind bars over the death of his wife.
Borce Ristevski arrives at Melbourne Supreme Court. He will spend almost a decade behind bars over the death of his wife.
AAP

Borce Ristevski was jailed on Thursday for nine years, with a minimum six years, for the manslaughter.

With time already served, he could be eligible for parole in four-and-a-half years.

"Nothing is going to bring Karen back but today was about justice and we didn't get justice today at all," Karen's brother Steve Williams said outside court.

Ristevski killed his wife Karen before dumping her body in Victorian bushland and spinning a "web of lies".

Questions remain

Ristevski killed his wife at their Avondale Heights home on June 29 before bundling her body into her Mercedes-Benz.

The 55-year-old drove to Macedon Regional Park, covering her body in branches, with her skeletal remains found between logs by horticulturalists eight months later.

An autopsy could not determine the cause of her death, and Ristevski has never provided a description of how his wife died.

Karen Ristevski's body was found in the bush on June 29, 2016.
Karen Ristevski's body was found in the bush on June 29, 2016.
AAP

He was charged with murder in December 2017 after a lengthy police investigation, involving listening devices and analysis of CCTV footage.

In March, Supreme Court of Victoria Justice Christopher Beale ruled that evidence available could not prove murderous intent.

Ristevski instead pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter.

Ristevski was a pallbearer at his wife's funeral and lied to her family for years, with loved ones subsequently condemning his actions and untruths as "vicious" and "agonising".

But the couple's daughter, Sarah, has supported her father throughout the ordeal, providing a "glowing reference" for him in March at his pre-sentence plea hearing.

Borce Ristevski's lawyers say the murder charge against him should be abandoned.
Borce Ristevski's lawyers say the murder charge against him should be abandoned.
AAP

"Growing up as a family, my mum, dad and I were completely inseparable ... the love we had for each other was unexplainable," she wrote in a letter to the court.

"The circumstances have left me without both of my parents ... all I can do is try to communicate the truth of how good of a dad and husband he was to my mum and I."

Supreme Court Justice Christopher Beale said no sentence he imposed could undo the suffering caused to those who loved Ms Ristevski.

"You have not revealed how or why you killed your wife," the judge said on Thursday.

"You have not taken the high road of full and frank disclosure.

"You continued spinning your web of lies, lying not only to your daughter but family, friends and the police.

"You acted as a pallbearer, playing the part of the innocent, grieving widower."

In March, Justice Beale ruled evidence available could not prove murderous intent.

Manslaughter draws a maximum 20 years' jail.

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