Family of slain grandmother 'powerless and voiceless'

Kobie Parfitt fell to her knees and begged to be taken to police or her father's house, as a woman who had just been released from prison beat her in her own home.

But her pleas were ignored.

Enraged because she believed Ms Parfitt had disposed of her property while she was in jail, Shannon Jeffrey continued to bash Ms Parfitt until she was unconscious.

Jeffrey then hung the 42-year-old Ballarat grandmother from her wardrobe to make it look like a suicide.

She later changed her mind and enlisted her friend, Brendan Prestage, to help get rid of the body.

Jeffrey and Prestage wrapped Ms Parfitt in bedding, black plastic bags, clear sheets of plastic and green foam.

They drove 30km into the bush, to Snake Valley, where they found an abandoned mineshaft and threw the body in the shaft before covering it in dirt.

"As if to rub even more salt into the wound, within weeks Ms Jeffrey told an estate agent, falsely, that Ms Parfitt had fled to Queensland, and then she moved into her into her home and took over the lease," Justice Michael Croucher said on Friday.

"As a result of the false rumours Ms Jeffrey started, Ms Parfitt was not reported missing for over three months."

Her body lay at the bottom of the mine shaft for eight months before it was found.

Ms Parfitt's cause of death will never be known due to the state of decomposition.

Her family cried in court as Justice Croucher sentenced Jeffrey to at least seven years in prison, after the 34-year-old pleaded guilty to manslaughter over the April 2020 killing.

She was handed a maximum 10-year sentence but, with time already served, Jeffrey will be eligible for parole in five years.

"No sentence will bring Kobie home to us," Ms Parfitt's family said in a statement.

"Today Shannon Jeffrey has gotten off lightly and our grief remains a life sentence."

The judge described Jeffrey's behaviour after the killing as displaying "cruelty and callousness".

"That conduct included the initial stringing up of Ms Parfitt’s body, its subsequent disposal and concealment, and the spreading of false rumours about her disappearance," he said.

"The very thought of this behaviour is horrific for Ms Parfitt’s loved ones."

Ms Parfitt's family said these actions continued to cause them distress and trauma.

"Cowardly silence not only gives space for the deterioration of evidence, but it prolongs trauma and distress for us all," they said.

"We are left powerless and voiceless, and the trauma and distress continues."

Jeffrey's supporters waved and yelled "love you Shannon" as she was escorted out of the dock by custody officers.

Prestage spent two-and-a-half years in jail after admitting to assisting Jeffrey in disposing of the body.

He walked free in July this year, having already served his sentence.

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