Cold-blooded killer Jack-Harrison Vincent Sadler was handed a 32-year jail sentence for the planned, intentional execution-style murder of Jake Anderson-Brettner in Riverside in 2018.
The 29-year-old shot Mr Anderson-Brettner at least three times with a pistol before beheading him with an axe and dismembering him with a knife and disposing of body parts in wheelie bins around Launceston and throwing his torso off the side of the Tasman Highway.
Sadler, who did not appear in the Supreme Court in Launceston but via video from Risdon Prison, showed no emotion as the sentence was announced.
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Justice Robert Pearce said he had decided against the maximum sentence of life imprisonment despite finding that the objective circumstances of the crime involved a very-high degree of seriousness.
"It was an intentional cold-blooded killing committed after pre-planning and preparation," he said.
"The crime is very significantly aggravated by the mutilation and disposal of the body all of which is to be regarded by members of a civilised society as abhorrent.
"It could only have been to hide the crime although I can think of no reason why it was considered necessary at all. It was suggested at trial that the idea came from the lyrics of a rap song, but it matters not.
"The fact that Mr Sadler was capable of such conduct wherever the influence or idea came from suggests that he presents a future risk.
"Despite the gravity of the crime I have decided not to impose a life sentence."
SADLER TRIAL: AS IT HAPPENED
- DAY 1 | The Crown presents its case against Jack Sadler
- DAY 2 | Jack Sadler 'lied' about seeing alleged victim
- DAY 3 | Accused murderer asked witness to cut deceased's toes off
- DAY 4 | Police found gun at accused murderer's home '
- DAY 5 | 'I heard someone saying 'please man don't, please man stop'
- DAY 6 | Accused was angry, told girlfriend not to tell police 'about the Jeep'
- DAY 7 | Man died quickly from lethal shots
- DAY 8 | Accused murderer 'happy to spend life in jail so long family is safe'
- DAY 9 | Focus on accused murderer's DNA as jury set to retire
He said Sadler had no demonstrated propensity for violence and was not incapable of rehabilitation.
Justice Pearce set a 20-year period from August 2018 before Sadler could get parole.
Mr Anderson-Brettner's mother Claudette said [taking a] life in Australia wasn't worth a life sentence.
"To me, Jake hopefully got heard," she said
She said nothing would bring her son back no matter what sentence was imposed.
Mr Anderson-Brettner's friend Jesse Moore said he was hoping for a life sentence.
"It's not long enough but it'll do for now," he said.
He said he was a bit surprised that it was 32 years but that was "better than nothing."
The court was packed with friends and family including fiance Katlyn Roney and a number of people from NSW who watched a video link.
Justice Pearce said the body had ragged wounds and signs of chopping with an axe. He said the murder at Sadler's Dion Crescent Riverside home was in the most serious category of murder.
"Mr Anderson-Brettner realised at least for a short time his fate and he was shot despite his pleas for mercy," he said.
Sadler's partner Gemma Clark told the jury she had heard him say "Please man don't please man stop' .
"Although his death would have been rapid it was not immediate," he said.
"Mr Anderson Brettner was not only intentionally killed in a calculating and cruel way but his body subjected to gross indignity.
"His head was removed at the junction of the neck and the shoulder but in such a manner that his lower jaw remained attached to the torso," he said.
The fact that the head and limbs were not recovered added to the emotional distress of the family and friends.
Justice Pearce said the motive for the crime was uncertain.
"Mr Sadler was angry with Mr Anderson-Brettner despite them having previously been friends," he said.
"I think it very likely that the disagreement arose from mutual dealings with illicit drugs.
"I am satisfied Mr Anderson-Brettner was involved in the sale of illicit drugs to some extent.
"The scale of his involvement is likely to have been fabricated to fit the fictional account he gave to the jury attributing the murder to drug dealers interstate.
"A planned killing motivated by financial or commercial reasons especially a drug debt is a serious murder whether the debt is big or small."
The jury heard that Mr Anderson-Brettner picked up a bag from a friend on the way to the arranged meeting between the pair.
An amount of $87,480 was found in Sadler's hidden Jeep Cherokee in following days.
Justice Pearce said there was a singular absence of any expression of remorse.
"His conduct after the murder is a strong indication of any absence of remorse," he said.
He said that there were no mitigating circumstances for Sadler who he said was intelligent and articulate.
"His crime cannot be attributed to rage, passion or sudden impulse or other human frailty or deficit. Nothing has been advanced which suggests fear, stress or pressure led him to act in a way that was out of character or an aberration.
Preparations for the murder were extensive with the purchase by Clark of gloves, overalls, cling wrap, bleach, firelighters and plastic which Sadler used to line the intended execution room.
Pistol and silencer were hidden and keys put down drains.
In December 2020 Shannon Duffy was sentenced to jail for the term of his natural life for the cold-blooded murder of 22-year-old Jarrod Leigh Turner on a country road.
Justice Michael Brett set a non-parole period of 18 years for a case he described as falling within the worst category of murder.
"It was a planned intentional cold-blooded killing committed by a person with a demonstrated propensity to engage in violent criminal conduct including the use of firearms," he said.
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