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Wife killer Borce Ristevski is sentenced to nine years' jail as judge slams him for 'spinning a web of lies' and his lack of remorse - despite his daughter's 'glowing' character reference

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 18/04/2019 Charlie Moore For Daily Mail Australia

a couple of people posing for the camera: Borce Ristevski (centre) will learn his fate on Thursday after entering a shock guilty plea last month to reveal he killed his wife Karen (left with their daughter, right) © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Borce Ristevski (centre) will learn his fate on Thursday after entering a shock guilty plea last month to reveal he killed his wife Karen (left with their daughter, right) Borce Ristevski has been sentenced to nine years in jail for killing his wife Karen almost three years ago.

Passing sentence in Victoria's Supreme Court today, Justice Christopher Beale slammed Ristevski for his 'rank deceit' and said: 'For years, you continued spinning your web of lies'. 

Ristevski killed his wife Karen, 47, at their Melbourne home in June 2016 before dumping her body in a national park where it was found eight months later. 

a person looking at the camera: Borce Ristevski arriving at court to be sentenced for killing his wife Karen © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Borce Ristevski arriving at court to be sentenced for killing his wife Karen Ristevski feigned innocence for almost three years, lying to the police, the public and his daughter, until making an unexpected guilty plea to manslaughter on the eve of his murder trial last month. 

At around 10am today, Borce - wearing a suit and white shirt with no tie - was escorted from a police van into a packed courtroom by four corrections officers.  

His 24-year-old daughter Sarah has declined to provide an impact statement and has instead given a 'glowing' character reference to try to lessen her father's sentence. 

The judge said she has done this 'out of love for her father,' adding that her predicament must be 'agonising.'

Judge Beale criticised Ristevski for not revealing why or how he killed his wife. 

'You have not taken the high road of full and frank disclosure,' he said.

'Your plea of guilty is not evidence of true remorse.'

a man standing in front of a store: Wife killer Borce Ristevski is led from a prison van into court as the father-of-two prepares to learn his fate after shock guilty plea © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Wife killer Borce Ristevski is led from a prison van into court as the father-of-two prepares to learn his fate after shock guilty plea

The judge said he did not have enough information to determine whether the crime was an example of mid-range or upper-range manslaughter.

He said it was certainly not low-range because it was a case of domestic violence against his 'devoted' wife who 'should have lived for many more years.' 

Justice Beale said Ristevski's chances of rehabilitation were 'good'. He said his case was rare because there was no history of domestic violence before the killing.

Borce must serve six years without parole.

Justice Beale said if he had not pleaded guilty, the sentence would have been 10 years, seven without parole. 

Ahead of the murder trial, Supreme Court Justice Christopher Beale ruled that Ristevski's actions after the killing, when he played the role of grieving husband, could not be used to prove 'murderous intent'.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Ristevski (pictured carrying wife's coffin) pleaded guilty to manslaughter and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years behind bars © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Ristevski (pictured carrying wife's coffin) pleaded guilty to manslaughter and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years behind bars

A new indictment with the lesser charge of manslaughter was subsequently filed and Ristevski pleaded guilty. 

Following the admission, Sarah gave her father a glowing character reference during a pre-sentence plea hearing at the Supreme Court of Victoria.  

'If I could use a few words to describe my dad's personality they would be loving, caring, sympathetic, protective and charismatic,' Sarah said in the character reference that goes on for more than one page.

'Growing up as a family my mum, dad and I were completely inseparable.

'We would spend all of our spare time together and family was everything to us. The love we had for each other was unexplainable, and everyone in our lives saw it.' 

Sarah said she had never witnessed her father act violently towards her mother.

'My dad has not had any prior convictions or issues with the law, and I can confidently say that in my 23 years and I have never witnessed any form of violence between my mum and dad,' she said.

Dress shop-owner Karen disappeared from the family home in Avondale Heights, north-west Melbourne, on June 29 2016. 

Ristevski was charged in December 2017 following a lengthy investigation. 

a group of people posing for the camera: Borce Ristevski is pictured with his daughter Sarah after appealing for information on his wife's whereabouts in July 2016 © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Borce Ristevski is pictured with his daughter Sarah after appealing for information on his wife's whereabouts in July 2016 a tree in a forest: This is the spot where Mrs Ristevski's body was found by horticulturalists in February 2017 © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited This is the spot where Mrs Ristevski's body was found by horticulturalists in February 2017

Justice Beale considered the fact that Ristevski has not revealed how or why he killed his wife of 27 years.

Other aggravating factors considered included the disposing of the body and lying about the criminal offence.

At last month's pre-sentencing hearing, defence counsel David Hallowes SC said the crime should be considered in the 'mid-range' of the offence of manslaughter.

But prosecutor Brendan Kissane QC argued the crime sat at the higher end and labelled it an example of domestic violence.

'He (Ristevski) has failed to reveal what went on in the house. The fact he hasn’t given an explanation doesn’t suddenly mean his offence ends up in the middle.'

TIMELINE OF KAREN RISTEVSKI'S DEATH AND BRINGING HER KILLER BORCE TO JUSTICE

a person smiling for the camera: Karen Ristevski with her daughter Sarah © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Karen Ristevski with her daughter Sarah

June 29, 2016

Karen Ristevski last seen at her Melbourne home in Avondale Heights 

Her mobile phone pings off a tower in the Macedon Ranges

A car similar to her black Mercedes SLK coupe is spotted by CCTV cameras near Diggers Rest railway station

July 14, 2016

Husband Borce Ristevski and daughter Sarah make a tearful plea for information to help find their missing wife and mother

December 19, 2016

Police search grassland, waterways, creeks and farms


February 20, 2017

Karen Ristevski's body is found at the Mount Macedon Regional Park

March 6, 2017

Funeral service held with Borce Ristevski a pallbearer and daughter Sarah leading the procession

August 31, 2017

Police recreate the journey of Ms Ristevski on the day she went missing in a black Mercedes, identical to hers


December 13, 2017

Borce Ristevski is charged with murder and faces court where a lawyer indicates a not-guilty plea. He is remanded in custody

April 18, 2018 

Ristevski returns to court where it's revealed detectives tapped his phone calls and planted listening devices as they investigated the alleged killing, compiling a 22,000-page evidence brief

Ristevski is granted state-funded legal aid as he fights the allegations

July 16, 2018 

Ristevski's two-week committal hearing begins and later hears evidence from his daughter Sarah who said he was never 'aggressive' towards her mum.

August 2, 2018

Ristevski is ordered to stand trial in the Supreme Court, charged with murdering his wife

December 4, 2018 

A five-week trial for Ristevski is set for March 2019

March 13, 2019

A day before a jury is due to be empanelled for his murder trial, prosecutors withdraw the murder charge after a judge's ruling.

Borce Ristevski pleads guilty to the alternative charge of manslaughter

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