Des Campbell, the former policeman who murdered his wife Janet by pushing her off a cliff, was jailed for a maximum of 33 years today.
Campbell, 52, dressed in a green prison tracksuit, did not react as the sentence was handed down.
“There can be no doubt that the circumstances under which Janet Campbell met her death demonstrate the offender’s sustained callousness towards her for nothing more than monetary gain,” the sentencing judge, Megan Latham, said. Justice Latham, whose decision was shown live to the public via video link, sentenced him to a 24-year non-parole period in “recognition of the deliberate taking of a life”.
Justice Latham said the non-parole period would expire in May 2034.
Killer and victim met in the Riverina town of Deniliquin, where Janet Fisicaro worked as a hospital orderly.
Campbell, who had previously been a policeman in Victoria and England, was working as a paramedic.
Janet, 49, had been left well off when her first husband died.
Prosecutors argued that Campbell was only ever after her money, with the Crown prosecutor, Mark Tedeschi, QC, comparing the murder to a contract killing.
On March 24, 2005 – six months after they secretly wed, and a week after Janet finally told her family of the marriage – Campbell took her camping in the Royal National Park.
Just before nightfall Janet fell to her death from a 50-metre cliff near their campsite.
A Supreme Court jury rejected Campbell’s claims that she fell accidentally, convicting him in May of murder.
The trial heard that Campbell secretly carried on affairs with other women during his relationship with Janet.
He did not attend her funeral, and booked a holiday with one of his girlfriends the week after his wife plunged to her death.
A few months later, the widower holidayed in the Philippines, where he met the woman who became his fourth wife.