A BENDIGO woman who was found guilty of setting alight and murdering her husband has been refused leave to appeal her conviction.
Kate Marie Stone was sentenced in July 2019 to 34 years in jail, with a non-parole period of 28 years, for the 2016 murder of Darren Reid.
Stone sought leave to appeal the conviction and sentence, but the Victorian Court of Appeal refused the application.
In November 2018, a Supreme Court jury found Stone guilty of murdering Mr Reid in their Long Gully home on the night of December 18, 2016.
Stone doused Mr Reid in enamel thinner and set him alight on the back porch of the Derwent Drive property they shared with some of their five children.
Mr Reid suffered burns to most of his body, including his upper airways, and died the following day at The Alfred hospital in Melbourne.
Stone applied for leave to appeal the conviction on three grounds, including that the verdict was not supported by evidence.
The application noted that the prosecution could not have excluded the reasonable possibility that it was an intruder and not Stone who set fire to Mr Reid.
The appeal judges rejected all three grounds, and noted there was an "abundance" of evidence upon which the jury could have been satisfied that Stone was responsible.
In their remarks, the judges noted some of that evidence, including the DNA linked to Stone that was found on the paint thinner tin, the details of the couple's tumultuous marital relationship, and a neighbour's evidence that Stone confessed to the murder.
"Our own independent evaluation of the evidence leads us to conclude that the jury were not bound to acquit the applicant," the judge said.
The appeal judges also looked at Stone's request to appeal her "manifestly excessive" prison sentence.
They noted that while it was "undoubtedly stern" for the offending, there was "no error" in the heavy sentence.
"The judge was entirely justified in her use of adjectives such as 'vicious', 'barbarous', 'merciless', 'malicious', 'wicked', 'abhorrent' to describe the applicant's conduct," the appeal judges said.
"There was no challenge to her Honour's finding that both the objective gravity of her conduct and her moral culpability were extremely high.
"Given the multiple aggravating features, the absence of remorse or contrition in any form, and the absence of any psychiatric or psychological explanation for this appalling crime, her Honour had little alternative but to impose a very stern sentence.
"As her Honour said, domestic murder is the ultimate act of family violence and must be strongly condemned."
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