Australian imprisoned for life for murdering sons

AP News
Posted: Oct 14, 2010 10:40 PM
Australian imprisoned for life for murdering sons

An Australian man was sentenced Friday to life in prison for murdering his three young sons by driving them into a reservoir on Father's Day to spite their mother.

Victoria state Supreme Court judge Justice Lex Lasry ordered Robert Farquharson, 41, to serve at least 33 years of the life sentence before he can be considered for parole.

Farquharson was taking his three sons _ Jai, 10, Tyler, 7, and 2-year-old Bailey _ to his ex-wife's home when he veered his car into a reservoir and left the boys to drown in September 2005. He claimed he had blacked out during a coughing fit while driving and pleaded not guilty to the murder charges.

But prosecutor Andrew Tinney told a jury during a three-month trial that began in May that Farquharson deliberately killed his sons out of resentment and anger toward his former wife, Cindy Gambino.

In July, a jury convicted Farquharson for all three murders for the second time. His 2007 conviction and life sentence _ without possibility of parole _ were quashed last year by an appeal court that ordered a retrial.

Tinney had argued that Farquharson should again be imprisoned without possibility of release for "an almost unspeakable act of vengeance" against Gambino.

Tinney said that after swimming from his submerged car, Farquharson had the "delicious reward" of telling Gambino about their children's deaths.

Outside court, a tearful Gambino said Farquharson should never be released.

"It's a life sentence for me. It should be a life sentence for him," she told reporters after the sentencing. Murder carries a maximum sentence of life in prison in Australia but few killers are denied the prospect of release.