Queensland wife killer Edmund Ian Riggs has been jailed for 15 years after a judge confirmed what Patricia Riggs' family has always known.
He is a liar.
For almost two decades, Riggs maintained his wife had abandoned their four children.
In fact, he'd killed her in their bedroom in Redcliffe, north of Brisbane, as they argued about their disintegrating marriage in September 2001.
Last month, a Brisbane Supreme Court jury accepted his testimony she died after he pushed her away when she spat on him, hitting her head on a bedpost.
They acquitted him of murder but found him guilty of manslaughter.
But in sentencing him on Thursday, Justice Peter Flanagan rejected his version based on his "shameful" and "deceitful" cover-up, which Riggs said was sparked by his fears his children would be orphans.
That included burying her on the outskirts of Caboolture in the dead of night before digging her up years later when he saw heavy machinery there.
He reburied her at the family home, where her partial skeletal remains were found in 2016 by a new owner.
"Your post-offence conduct and lies are, in my view, generally inconsistent with your version of events," Justice Flanagan said.
"The extent of steps you took to distance yourself from your wife's death is out of all proportion to you pushing your wife during the course of an argument and her hitting her head on a bedpost."
The judge also noted key pieces of evidence pointed away from an accident.
Ms Riggs' blood was found on the wall behind the bed and no traces of blood were found in the spot he said she'd fallen.
"The presence of the deceased's blood in the bedroom supports that an act of violence most likely took place on the left-hand side of the bed, where Patricia Riggs usually slept," Justice Flanagan said.
"That act took place in a household of four sleeping children who were not disturbed by it.
"Patricia Riggs died a violent and sudden death at your hands."
Riggs was sentenced to 13 years for manslaughter and interfering with a corpse and two years were added for four counts of perjury based on lies he told various courts.
Ms Riggs' father, Jon Knowles, said the sentence was the best his family could have hoped for but lamented Riggs could be "walking around in 10 years' time" on parole.
"My daughter can't," Mr Knowles said.
"It won't bring her back. It won't solve anything, really, other than to make sure he's lost some of his freedom, which is very pleasing."
"It was pleasing to hear that the judge had seen through his lies," he said.
"I tried to tell my daughter that he was hopeless.
"She was a wonderful girl. What happened should never have happened. It shouldn't happen to any girl."
Australian Associated Press