Edward Kenneth Lord, 56, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Michele Lord who suffered fatal brain injuries after he drove off Tweed Valley Way into the northern NSW river in October 2015.
The concreter had been having an affair with masseuse Siew Ping “Margaret” Fong, whom he met at a Broadbeach massage parlour.
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Lord had moved her into the couple’s home as a maid in 2015, telling his wife Ms Fong could help with housework.
Ms Lord had been working long hours and had been ill with breast cancer.
In the NSW Supreme Court today, Justice Ian Harrison jailed Lord for 10 years and eight months, with a non-parole period of eight years.
“The driving into the river was an intentional but spontaneous act carried out purely to vent his rage,” according to the agreed facts.
A fisherman had heard the couple arguing shortly before the incident.
When emergency services arrived at the car wreck on the banks of Tweed River they found Michele Lord and her husband Edward Lord free of their vehicle that had sunk to the bottom of the river.
Ms Lord, 57, was clinging to life. She was able to be revived but died two days later, on October 20, 2015, in hospital without ever waking up.
Police said the vehicle became airborne after it veered off the road and plunged into the river near Tumbulgum. Mr Lord said he climbed out through an open window.
As her family and friends mourned, police began to quietly investigate the cause of the crash and probed the couple’s marriage.
“Throughout this entire ordeal, all we have ever wanted was the truth,” Michele’s family and friends said in a statement today.
“To learn that her husband, a man we all knew, and considered to be a part of our family, was complicit in Michele’s passing, has made this entire ordeal such an overwhelming and confronting tragedy.”
The family expressed appreciation to all those involved in the investigation and for their tireless efforts.
“Thank you for giving Michele one last chance to speak and see that the truth is brought to light,” the statement read.
Above all else, they hoped Michele’s death would not be in vain.
“As difficult as it is to accept that such a happy, trusting, loving woman, who always saw the positive in every moment, has lost her life in such a way, it is our hope that anyone who finds themselves in similar circumstances as Michele did, finds the strength to reach out and confide in all the amazing services out there. Help is never out of reach,” the statement read.