Borce Ristevski has been sentenced to at least six years in jail for the manslaughter of his wife Karen.
Justice Christopher Beale today imposed a maximum sentence of nine years on the 55-year-old in the Supreme Court of Victoria.
With time already served, Ristevski could be released in less than five years.
The Melbourne mother disappeared from the couple’s Avondale Heights home on June 29, 2016, with her skeletal remains found dumped in isolated bushland eight months later.
Ristevksi was charged with murder in 2017 after a lengthy police investigation but pleaded guilty to manslaughter in March after Justice Beale ruled murderous intent could not be proved.
Ristevski has never revealed how his wife of 27 years died and Justice Beale said the “web of lies” had compounded her family’s grief.
“You acted as pallbearer at her funeral. You played the part of the innocent, grieving widower,” Justice Beale said.
The couple’s daughter Sarah, who provided a character reference for her father, was in court for the sentencing.
“This does not mean she is not a victim. She provided a glowing character reference. I mean no criticism of Sarah,” Justice Beale said.
“Her predicament is an agonising one.”
Ristevski was facing a maximum 20 years in jail.
“Unfortunately, no sentence I can impose will undo the suffering you have caused and continue to cause those who loved Karen,” Justice Beale said.
Ristevksi’s sentencing discount for a guilty plea was minimised due to his refusal to shed light on Karen’s death.
Karen’s brother Stephen Williams, who carried his sister’s casket alongside her killer, expressed his dismay at the sentence outside court.
Nothing was going to bring Karen back. But today was about justice and we didn’t get justice today at all Mr Williams said.
So as a society, at some stage we will, in regards to domestic violence, make a stand.
Again it wasn’t today at all.
He controlled how Karen died, he controlled where she went, that her body wasn’t looked after,” she told Today.
Now he is controlling that he is able to have a lighter sentence which I find incredibly, incredibly unfair.