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Murderous duo given 20-plus years in jail

AAP logoAAP 21/10/2016

It will be approaching 2040 before the first of the two people who tortured and murdered mother-of-four Tia Landers will be eligible for parole.

Drug supplier John Edward Harris, 44, and his partner Linda Eileen Appleton, 43, were sentenced in Brisbane's Supreme Court on Friday after pleading guilty to murdering Ms Landers in a brutal and bloody encounter at their Brighton home in June 2014.

They had originally pleaded guilty but changed their plea mid-trial.

Justice Jean Dalton ordered their parole eligibility to be set beyond the statutory 20-year minimum for the "sadistic" killing.

Ms Landers was cut with a machete, bashed, kicked, stomped, and then twice shot in the head and her body dumped in Beerburrum State Forest.

Harris will have to spend at least 27 years behind bars before being eligible for parole, while Appleton must serve at least 23 years.

A letter of apology from Appleton was given to the Landers family on Friday, but Justice Dalton said she had great difficulty reconciling it with the evidence.

Appleton and Harris, who at one point held hands in the dock during sentencing, initially pleaded not guilty to the murder but reversed their pleas after five days of evidence in their trial.

They also pleaded guilty to interfering with her corpse and depriving the liberty of two men, Jake McKenzie and Ryan Morgan.

During sentencing, the court heard Harris had previously been jailed for manslaughter in a case with striking similarities to Ms Landers' murder.

In that case, the victim's body was also wrapped up and dumped in the Beerburrum State Forest.

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