NZ family watch killer jailed in Perth

  • 16/09/2015
NZ family watch killer jailed in Perth

Family of a woman killed in Perth more than 20 years ago watched via video link from New Zealand and Scotland as an elderly man was sentenced in the Supreme Court of Western Australia to six-and-a-half years in jail.

Ronald Leslie Pennington, 86, was found guilty in July after a fourth trial of unlawfully killing 41-year-old Cariad Anderson-Slater in 1992.

Her remains were uncovered 19 years later during earthmoving works in the backyard of the home Pennington had lived in, but the cause of death could not be determined.

The court heard on Wednesday that Pennington was an alcoholic, while the victim was a binge drinker who was last seen alive arriving at his house.

Justice Michael Corboy noted Ms Anderson-Slater's husband had suffered anguish and torment at being treated as a suspect and having to leave WA.

David Slater, who moved to Queensland and then to New Zealand after her death, returned to Perth to give evidence at Pennington's trials.

Pennington was originally charged with murder, but was found guilty of the lesser offence of manslaughter and was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in jail.

He successfully appealed against his conviction but then the jury in his second trial could not reach a verdict.

A third trial was aborted because a juror disobeyed the judge's directions.