Rick Thorburn has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the 2015 murder of his foster daughter Tiahleigh Palmer in a crime that shocked Australia.
Thorburn, 57, pleaded guilty to the killing earlier today.
Thorburn killed the 12-year-old schoolgirl in Logan, south of Brisbane, because he feared his son, Trent, then 19, had impregnated her.
In 2016, Trent was sentenced to four years' jail for incest, perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice. He was released on parole earlier this year.
Thorburn’s wife, Julene, and his eldest son, Joshua, have also spent time in prison for their involvement in covering up the crimes.
Thorburn, who will be eligible for parole in 2036, also pleaded guilty to interfering with a corpse and attempting to pervert the course of justice.
“You murdered this defenceless child, who relied on you for protection,” said sentencing Justice David Boddice, “and you did so to save one of your own children because of the consequences of his actions. You showed no respect for her even in death."
Prosecutor Carl Heaton QC told the court that Thorburn had told his family he had killed the girl.
"Richard explained they would do things like they normally do," said Heaton. "He told the family, 'We have to protect Trent...'"
Heaton said that Thorburn told his family he had the girl “hidden” and "I'm going to get rid of her tomorrow night.”
Tiahleigh was last seen alive on the morning of Oct. 30, 2015.
Six days later fishermen found her body on the bank of the Pimpama River, 34km from her school in Marsden, Logan.
“She was a lovely girl,” a local Marsden mother, who asked not to be named, told WHO at the time. “She would walk around with a beautiful smile.”