News State Victoria News ‘No justice’ for family in Borce Ristevski’s sentence for killing his wife

‘No justice’ for family in Borce Ristevski’s sentence for killing his wife

borce ristevski jailed
Borce Ristevski arrives at court for Thursday's sentencing. Photo: AAP
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The brother of Melbourne woman Karen Ristevski feels justice has been denied after her husband was jailed for nine years for her killing.

Borce Ristevski was jailed on Thursday for nine years, with a minimum six years, for the high-profile manslaughter.

With time already served, he could be eligible for parole in four-and-a-half years.

“Nothing is going to bring Karen back but today was about justice and we didn’t get justice today at all,” Ms Ristevski’s brother Steve Williams said outside court.

Ristevski killed his wife before dumping her body in Victorian bushland and spinning a “web of lies”.

The 47-year-old was found eight months after she went missing in 2016, with Ristevski lying to his wife’s family and taking part at her funeral as a pallbearer, playing the part of an “innocent, grieving widower”.

On Thurday, Supreme Court Justice Christopher Beale said no sentence he imposed could undo the suffering caused to those who loved Ms Ristevski.

“You have not revealed how or why you killed your wife,” the judge said.

“You have not taken the high road of full and frank disclosure.

“You continued spinning your web of lies, lying not only to your daughter but family, friends and the police.

“You acted as a pallbearer, playing the part of the innocent, grieving widower.”

Ristevski killed his wife at their Avondale Heights home on June 29 before bundling her body into her Mercedes-Benz.

The 55-year-old drove to Macedon Regional Park, covering her body in branches, with her skeletal remains found between logs by horticulturalists eight months later.

karen ristevski
Karen (centre) and Borce Ristevski with their daughter Sarah. Photo: Supplied

An autopsy could not determine her cause of death, and Ristevski has never explained how his wife died.

He was charged with murder in December 2017 after a lengthy police investigation, involving listening devices and analysis of CCTV footage.

In March, Justice Beale ruled evidence available could not prove murderous intent.

Ristevski instead pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter.

Ristevski was a pallbearer at his wife’s funeral and lied to her family for years, with loved ones subsequently condemning his actions and untruths as “vicious” and “agonising”.

But the couple’s daughter, Sarah, has supported her father throughout the ordeal, providing a “glowing reference” for him at his March pre-sentence hearing.

“Growing up as a family, my mum, dad and I were completely inseparable … the love we had for each other was unexplainable,” she told the court, in a letter.

“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.”

Manslaughter draws a maximum 20 years’ jail.