Borce Ristevski will spend at least six years behind bars for killing his wife Karen Ristevski.
Justice Christopher Beale sentenced Ristevski, 55, to a maximum of nine years in the Supreme Court in Melbourne on Thursday.
Their daughter Sarah Ristevski was among the family and friends who were in court for the sentence on Thursday.
Ristevski has not told police how or why he killed his 47-year-old wife in their Avondale Heights home in Melbourne’s north-west on June 29, 2016.
Justice Christopher Beale said Ristevski’s conduct after killing Karen, including dumping her body, the web of deceit he spun and carrying her coffin at her funeral, was a significant aggravation.
“You have finally accepted responsibility for killing Karen [but] you have not revealed how or why you have killed your wife,” Justice Beale said.
“You have not taken the high road of full and frank disclosure consistent with true remorse.”
Justice Beale said the possibility of closure for her family was complicated, if not cruelled, as they will never know how Karen died.
He quoted from the victim impact statement of Karen’s aunt Patricia Gray: “If Borce could do anything for Karen it would for him to take away the constant stream of images of Karen struggling for her last breath…the not knowing is worse than knowing.”
“I mean no criticism of Sarah – anyone with a modicum of compassion would understand her predicament is an agonising one,” Justice Beale said.
Police believe Ristevski killed his wife between 8.58am and 10.43am on the day she went missing and drove her body in her black Mercedes-Benz to Mount Macedon, more than 50 kilometres away, and dumped her remains between two logs.
Karen’s remains were not found until a bushwalker stumbled upon her shallow grave in Macedon Regional Park on February 20, 2017, eight months after she went missing.
They believe the couple argued about the financial plight of their clothing business, Bella Bleu, beforehand.
“I have so many amazing memories with my dad that I will forever cherish, especially those memories of my parents together,” she wrote.
“The love they had for each other and the marriage that they shared is something I hope to one-day experience myself.
“He would always put my mum and I first before anyone else, as did my mum with him and I.
“The circumstances have left me without both of my parents, and I know there is nothing that I can do to change that but all I can try to do is communicate the truth of how good of a dad and husband he was to my mum and I.”
– The Age, Tammy Mills and Adam Cooper