The cold-blooded killers of father Travis Mills — which included his partner and her mother —have all had appeals against their murder convictions and sentences thrown out.
In April 2015, 30 year-old Mr Mills was confronted by practical strangers in his Seville Grove home, who brutally bashed him and then burnt him alive in the boot of his car.
A Supreme Court trial heard the plan to murder Mr Mills was initiated by his girlfriend’s mother Joanne Ruthsalz, and was ruthlessly executed with the help of his partner Seleena Ruthsalz.
The jury heard how Mr Mills did not like Joanne because of her long-term drug dealing and interfering nature and she made no secret of the fact that the feeling was mutual.
The Ruthsalz women whipped up a “frenzy of false accusations and lies” about Mr Mills, telling their friend Justine Campell, who was previously a victim of serious domestic violence, that he was abusive.
Acting under a misguided belief that she had to protect Seleena and her baby Ruby, Campbell recruited the help of her husband Darren and friend Darryl Newton.
Mr Mills had just put together a trampoline for Ruby’s first birthday when the men opened his door with Seleena’s keys and viciously attacked him.
After a lengthy trial, all five were convicted of murder and sentenced to a combined total of at least 106 years in prison.
But all five appealed against either their convictions, their sentences — or both.
Today, in a lengthy Court of Appeal judgment, all the appeals were dismissed, with a panel of judges also finding Joanne Ruthsalz was the mastermind of the murder.
“Joanne Ruthsalz was the primary instigator of the plan to kill Travis Mills. She played a co-ordinating role and intended that he would be killed,” the judgment said.
“(She) had been party to a plan which involved Travis Mills being surprised in his home and then killed and his body disposed of.
“Although she may have been unaware of the particular mechanism by which Travis Mills would be killed, Joanne Ruthsalz was nevertheless morally and legally culpable for the act of killing, including the mechanism by which it occurred, as a result of her having been involved in the plan to kill him.”