A man has been sentenced to 15 years behind bars for the manslaughter of his wife after a court heard how he sent chilling text messages in a desperate bid to cover it up.
Michael Hutchinson, sent text message from his wife, Julie Hutchinson’s phone to her friends, family, co-workers and himself in an attempt to prove she was still alive.
“I've packed a few things and have left with a friend,” he texted himself from his dead wife's phone, reports A Current Affair.
“I will be gone for about a week and get paid this week so you can pay some bills. Sell the Mazda if you want I don't care and tell the kids whatever you like.”
Hutchinson then even responded to the texts, writing, “Not even a goodbye? You didn't even see the kids before you left? I can't believe this is happening... this isn't the Julie I married.”
Another text message from Julie’s phone then read, “Stop worrying, it makes me feel more guilty.“
“I've done so many bad things to you and I have ruined our relationship. I know you can take care of the boys, that makes me feel a bit better. I'm still OK.”
Hutchinson also reportedly sent a resignation email from her account to her boss.
During his trial, the crown alleged Hutchinson had murdered his wife because he had mortgaged their family home without her knowledge and had racked up a huge debt, reports News Corp.
9 News reports that Police believe Hutchinson killed his wife once she found out about the debt in a possible attempt to hide his shame collect her life insurance. Police believe he killed the mother-of-two inside their family home before dumping her body in bushland outside Townsville.
Hutchinson claims she hit her head during an altercation and he cannot remember where he put the body, reports The Daily Mail.
Julie was reported missing on April 9 by her sister Christine Teitzel after she and her father became suspicious of Hutchinson’s initial story that Julie had left him.
"To us and to those who knew Julie, she was a caring, loving, loyal, quiet, intelligent woman and was respected by all who knew her," Ms Teitzel said.
"The suffering and torment we are all experiencing by not knowing where Julie was discarded can only be described as torturous."
"After last week's decision to find Michael Geoffrey Hutchinson not guilty of murder but guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter, we were devastated.”
Julie’s body has never been found.
This article first published on Marie Claire.