An Australian financial adviser has been handed an 18 year jail sentence for the murder of a client he felt was being 'wasteful' with her lottery winnings.
Peter Joseph Kelly had pleaded guilty to murdering Maria Devrell in March last year by hitting her over the head with a mallet wrapped in cling film and suffocating her, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
Devrell and her husband won $5m in the lottery in 1999, after which Kelly, who had known the husband for 25 years, took over management of their finances.
However, he became increasingly angry with what he felt was 'wasteful' spending by the couple, the New South Wales Supreme Court heard.
This reached a climax with an argument Kelly had with her at her Tamworth home, on the same day he was supposed to go camping with her husband.
Infuriated by her desire to be allocated more money, he went to his car and returned with the mallet, which he used to hit Devrell over the head several times.
Justice Robert Allan Hulme dismissed claims Kelly did not intend to kill Devrell and also noted that he had tried to cover up the incident by taking her purse and strangling her, to make it look like a robbery.
"My review of all of the evidence leads me to conclude that the offender was driven by the argument with the deceased to become angry, or as he said, livid, ropeable or furious," he said.
"(But) I cannot detect a loss of self-control, even with it being acknowledged that the offender acted out of character and had no history of violence."
Kelly was handed down a maximum sentence of 18 years and will serve at least 13 years and six months.
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