Dumped face down in creek: 22 years' jail
The estranged partner of a Melbourne mother who was murdered last year before and her body was dumped in a creek has been sentenced to 22 years' jail.
Kristy-Lee Hall, 27, was killed by her former partner Adam Emilio Mocenigo during a violent argument at the home they shared in Clauscen Street, Heidelberg Heights on March 26, 2011.
Mocenigo, 35, was the father of Ms Hall's 4-year-old daughter, Chloe.
A jury found him guilty of her murder following an 11-day trial in September in Victoria's Supreme Court, during which the court heard she had fallen out of love with Mocenigo and had been seeing another man for several months.
In sentencing the father of two to a minimum of 18 year' jail on Friday, Justice Lex Lasry said the murder served as a reminder to the community that "fatal violence in the home is not to be regarded as in some way less serious because it occurs against the background of a relationship".
Mocenigo hid Ms Hall's body in a backyard garden shed before dumping her remains at Stoney Creek in the Kinglake National Park two days later.
He returned to the scene a day later to further conceal the body without realising that two swimmers had found her and reported the discovery to police.
Officers were waiting in a nearby car park for homicide detectives to arrive at the scene when Mocenigo returned and further hid her remains with more tree branches.
He lied to Ms Hall's family and police about her whereabouts before later admitting to detectives that he panicked after she died during an argument. He said he had dumped her remains to conceal the crime.
"The exact means by which you caused Ms Hall's death cannot be accurately described but clearly the jury were satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that you did having reviewed all the evidence," he said.
But the judge described as "fanciful" Mocenigo's suggestion that he placed her body in the creek because he wanted her to be found so her family could have a place to grieve.
He noted that the concealment of Ms Hall's body, and particularly its placement face down in a creek in a relatively remote area, "is a significant aggravating circumstance".
The court heard Mocenigo had a history of drug use and depression. He also has 25 prior convictions for offences dating back to 1996, which included assault, damaging property and assault in company.
Justice Lasry said he was not satisfied that Mocenigo had demonstrated remorse.
He said while Ms Hall had led a difficult life and certainly had a problem with drugs, "this was the murder of a young woman and mother that has had devastating consequences for many people involved in her life.
"It has also had a terrible effect on your family. Many people are suffering," he said.
Mocenigo remained impassive in the dock while the judge delivered his sentencing remarks, before he was escorted away by corrections guards having already served 618 days of pre-sentence detention.