The woman who orchestrated the murder of a Kangaroo Flat mother of four so she could claim the four children as her own has been jailed for 30 years.
Christine Lyons, 47, was in June found guilty of murder over the death of Samantha Kelly, who was bashed with a hammer by Lyons’ then-partner, Peter Arthur, in a bungalow behind a Kangaroo Flat house in January 2016.
Supreme Court Justice Stephen Kaye on Thursday found Lyons was the architect of the plan to murder Ms Kelly and that she directed Arthur to kill when an earlier plan to fatally drug her with prescribed medicine failed.
Justice Kaye described the actions of Arthur and Lyons as ‘‘heartless and thoroughly evil’’ and ordered she serve 23 years in jail before she is eligible for parole.
Lyons was found guilty of murder and attempted murder.
Lyons’ former lover, Ronald Lyons, 46, who is unrelated, was jailed on Thursday for 12 years for attempted murder and assisting an offender after he helped Arthur dispose of Ms Kelly's body.
The Crown had asked for a life sentence for Christine Lyons.
Arthur has already been jailed for 22 years after he pleaded guilty to murder in 2016.
He was given a sentencing discount because he was the key prosecution witness in the case against the Lyonses.