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sharon edwards


John Edwards sentenced for the murder of missing estranged wife, Sharon Edwards

ABC Coffs Coast 
By Claudia Jambor



The estranged husband of missing northern NSW woman Sharon Edwards has been sentenced to 24 years jail for her murder.

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Last month a Supreme Court jury found John Wallace Edwards, 63, guilty of killing the 55-year-old mother-of-three in 2015.

Speaking outside the court in Coffs Harbour, the pair's eldest son, Joshua Edwards, said the judgement sends a strong message against domestic violence.

"Mum was a victim of domestic violence," he said.

"Nobody deserves what happened to her."

Mr Edwards was confident his father, who remained stony faced throughout the proceedings, would never walk free again.

New relationship motivated killing

Justice Robert Hulme told the court John Edwards' motive for killing his wife of 33 years was clear he could not accept that she wanted to move on with her rekindled love, Billy Mills, with whom she had an affair with earlier in their marriage.

Sharon Edwards was last seen on the night of March 14, 2015, following a night out with Mr Mills and another friend.

When Mrs Edwards and Mr Mills returned to her Grafton home that night, they discovered Edwards' ute in the garage, prompting Mrs Edwards to take Mr Mills back to his friend's house.

Upon her return, Edwards was enraged by his estranged wife's desire to bring another man back to the house.

"In response to her perceived temerity, he killed her his own wife and the mother of his three sons," Justice Hulme said.

Killer's 'extraordinary series of lies'

Killing Mrs Edwards in her home, as well as dumping and concealing her body, were viewed by Justice Hulme as aggravating features of the murder.

"It is an indication of the offender's callous indifference to the dignity of the human being whose life he had extinguished," he said.

Mrs Edwards' body has never been found, but Justice Robert Hulme said the case against the 63-year-old murderer was overwhelming, from the 'boxer's fracture' on Edwards' right hand to mobile phone location data.

Justice Hulme said John Edwards created the facade of the "distressed husband whose wife had gone missing" by calling her mobile and texting her in the days after she disappeared.

He also tearfully fronted a media conference appealing for information.

Justice Hulme added that the 63-year-old's "extraordinary series of lies" about what happened on the night his wife vanished raised suspicion about his involvement.

"His sons tried in vain to believe that their father had nothing to do with their mother's disappearance," the judge said.

"But this became more difficult as time went on."

Hope to find Sharon

Justice Hulme told the court the family's anguish was amplified by Edwards' refusal to reveal to his family the location of her remains.

Joshua Edwards was doubtful his father would ever reveal what happened the night his mother disappeared, or where he hid her body.

"The judge gave him an opportunity to [confess where the remains are] for the possibility it might affect his sentencing, and he didn't," Mr Edwards said.

"I hope he will, but I don't believe he will."

Mr Mills was equally doubtful that Mr Edwards would divulge what happened that night, but said the judgement has allowed him to move on with his life.

"I can say it for the first time that I have closure," Mr Mills said.

"I'm just happy it's over."

He teared up as he reminisced on his love for her and how he "loved the way she was, the way she talked, laughed, smiled, interacted with people."

When asked what he would tell Mrs Edwards about the judgement, Mr Mills replied: "I'd say to her, 'we got him, it's all good.

"I'd like to think she's looking down smiling, saying, 'yeah, you got him Billy Boy'."

John Edwards will be eligible for parole in 2035.