Borce Ristevski has been sentenced to nine years in jail with a non-parol period of six years for the manslaughter of his wife Karen Ristevski, three years after her death.
The sentence was delivered by Justice Christopher Beale in the Supreme Court today.
With time already served, Ristevski could be a free man in under five years.
The 55-year-old confessed to the murder of his wife last month after denying any initial involvement in her death.
Karen was murdered on the 29 June 2016 with her remains found in the Macedon Regional Park by horticulturalists, eight months after her disappearance.
Ristevski drove his dead wife to the Regional Park and disposed of her body covering it with branches and logs after using the Avondale Heights mother’s Mercedes-Benz to dump her body.
In December of 2017, Ristevski was charged with the murder of his wife after being a person of interest throughout the investigation but is yet to explain how his wife died.
The police investigation involved various listening devices and CCTV footage leading to a 22,000 page evidence brief containing all of the information collected around Ristevski’s movements and contacts.
Police revealed that Ristevski changed his mobile number multiple times, encouraged his daughter not to trust the police and constantly changed his story about Karen’s disappearance throughout the investigation.
But Justice Beale claimed that the evidence provided did not substantiate means of murderous intent, given Ristevski’s actions after his wife’s death, such as being a pallbearer at her funeral.
“They made it difficult to see how a jury could properly find that the only reasonable explanation for the post offence conduct was that the accused was conscious of having killed his wife with murderous intent,” Justice Beale said in his written ruling.
Prosecutors then withdrew the murder charge, prompting Ristevski to plead guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter.
After providing a glowing character reference throughout the trial, it is expected that daughter Sarah Ristevski will support her father in the docks.
“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,” she wrote.
Photo from Pexel.