INVERMAY man Darryl Scott Donohue yesterday received four years' imprisonment for attempting to put a "hit" on his estranged wife.
The 41-year-old was stung by an undercover police officer in October when Donohue offered him $10,000 to kill his wife in a bid to get custody of their children.
Donohue separated from his wife of four years in April last year.
The court heard yesterday that he stalked her for months after, eventually forcing her to flee the state in September.
In the same month, Donohue had twice offered a stranger at a barbecue $10,000 to kill her.
After the man contacted police, Donohue denied to them that he had tried to recruit him for the murder.
Donohue was then passed on the phone number of a "hitman" - an undercover police officer - and the two met in a Penny Royal Hotel room to arrange the murder.
The "hitman" was given a photograph of Donohue's wife, her personal details and an outline of her daily routine.
Donohue suggested that the undercover officer interfere with his wife's pacemaker to make her death look accidental.
Donohue said he would be able to raise the $10,000 but indicated he was having difficulty doing so at the time.
During sentencing in Launceston's Supreme Court yesterday, Chief Justice Ewan Crawford said he believed Donohue was unrepentant of the crime which he described as chilling.
"The incitement was not a spur of the moment decision but a premeditated plan that extended at least for a month," Justice Crawford said.
"It seems that he hated his wife because he could not get his way with her and she was in the way of him obtaining custody of the children.
"The irony for him is that by doing what he did, he demonstrated that he was not a fit person to have custody."
Donohue was sentenced to four years' jail for incitement to murder and stalking.
The conviction of incitement to murder is believed to be the first to be recorded in the state.
Donohue will be eligible for parole in two years.