Killer who stabbed and burned woman jailed for 20 years
A 49-YEAR-OLD South Grafton man convicted of the brutal bashing and stabbing murder of a woman in her home on May 18, 2012, has been sentenced to 20 years in jail.
Supreme Court Justice Peter Hamill sentenced Andrew Mervyn Sumpton to 29 years' jail with a non-parole period of 20 years and six months for the murder of Michelle Roberts.
In addition to being found guilty of murder, Sumpton was also convicted on four counts of arson after setting fire to the victim's body and house in an attempt to cover his tracks.
The sentencing in Sydney followed a 10-day trial in Grafton in October and November last year.
The court heard evidence the sexually motivated crime took place after a night of excessive drinking in South Grafton.
Forensic experts said Ms Roberts was first brutally bashed unconscious, then stabbed 24 times before her body was burned beyond recognition.
Justice Hamill sentenced Hamill to a non-parole period of 19 years for the murder charge plus another period of eight and a half years.
On the arson charges he was sentenced to four and a half years' jail.
His sentence began from the day he was taken into custody on May 24, 2012. He is eligible for release on November 23, 2032.