A Sydney man who fatally stabbed his wife but told police the wound was self-inflected, has been jailed for 25 years.
Gavin De Beyer and Sharon Michelutti had been together for 30 years in what the New South Wales Supreme Court was told was a troubled relationship.
Both used illicit drugs and during arguments Ms Michelutti was frequently assaulted.
In December 2015, she took out an Apprehended Violence Order against her husband, but a matter of weeks later she was dead.
After stabbing his wife at their Riverwood home in February 2016, De Beyer wiped the weapon, put it in the sink and placed the tea towel he used in the washing machine.
He then went to Campsie Police Station and told officers his wife had taken her own life.
After the 52-year-old was found guilty of murder, Acting Justice Peter Hidden handed De Beyer a 25-year jail term, with a non-parole period of 19 years.
“The offender maintains his innocence and has shown remorse,” he said.
De Beyer heckled in court
A triple-0 call had been made from the home, but it did not connect.
Prosecutors argued that Ms Michelutti had tried to make the call, but her husband prevented her from doing so.
Justice Hidden said he was unable to say this is what happened, or what led to the murder.
“I could not be satisfied that the stabbing was anything other than spontaneous,” he said.
De Beyer was heckled by several men in the public gallery as he was taken from the courtroom.
He will be eligible for parole in January 2035.