'Web of lies': Judge, family of Karen Ristevski unleash on killer husband Borce

There was an outpouring of anger in Melbourne on Thursday from the family of Kiwi woman Karen Ristevski and the justice presiding over her killer's case.

Borce Ristevski received a prison term of nine years on Thursday for the manslaughter of his wife, but for her family, his trip to jail does little for them.

"Nothing was going to bring Karen back but today was about justice. We didn't get justice today, at all," said Stephen Williams, Karen's brother.

They've been yearning for justice since Karen disappeared from her Melbourne home in 2016 and never returned.

Through eight months of searching for the Kiwi mother, when her body was found buried in the bush, and during years of denial from her husband, who carried her coffin - despite putting her there - the family sought closure.

Last month, Borce pleaded guilty to manslaughter, admitting to killing her and covering it up. But for her family, so much is still missing - he won't say how or why she died.

Victoria Supreme Court Justice Christopher Beale castigated the man for not co-operating.

"You acted as a pallbearer, playing the part of the innocent grieving widower. The pretence, the rank deceit only ended a few weeks ago," he said.

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

"Even now, the possibility of closure is complicated, if not cruelled, by the fact the family do not know exactly how or why Karen died.

But despite the deception, his silence may have helped his fate.

Prosecutors called it high-end offending - but without the details, the court couldn't judge.

"Without knowing the level and duration of the violence perpetrated by you, which caused your wife's death, I simply cannot say whether your offending was mid or upper-range."

He faced 20 years in prison, but was sentenced to nine instead.

But worst of all for Karen's family, just how he sent her to an early grave is a secret it seems he will carry to his.


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