Neal Richardson, 45, was found guilty of murdering Kiralee Grant, 41, last November.

Richardson previously claimed he had panicked after Grant fell and hit her head on a coffee table during an argument at their home in Malabar, east Sydney.

Explaining that he worried the police would think he killed her, Richardson said he dismembered her body and then dumped her remains on a rural property in New South Wales.

Grant had been due to give evidence against Richardson on an assault charge the day after she went missing in October 2009.

At a sentencing hearing today, Richardson’s barrister, Graham Turnbull SC, said that his client suffered “traumatic recollections” about the incident.

“He’s off drugs now. He’s sitting in jail with his life ahead of him,” Turnbull said.

He added that Richardson now felt “contrition” and “remorse”.