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'Monster' killer Michael Cardamone to never be released

Sadistic Victorian murderer Michael Cardamone will remain in jail until the day he dies after losing his appeal against a life behind bars.

Cardamone was jailed for life for killing his neighbour Karen Chetcuti-Verbunt in "horrifying, depraved and disgusting" circumstances near Wangaratta in January 2016.

The 52-year-old set a precedent in Victoria as the first killer without a prior murder conviction and who pleaded guilty to never see freedom again.

Michael Cardamone was jailed for life.

Michael Cardamone was jailed for life.Credit:Mark Jesser

On Tuesday, the Court of Appeal upheld Justice Lex Lasry's sentence, adding Cardamone had "no regard for human life and would inevitably pose a danger to the community" if ever released.

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The judgment was celebrated by the victim's mother Clary Verbunt, but she added that life in jail for the "monster" was "still too good" and she now believed in the death penalty.

On the night of her death, Ms Chetcuti-Verbunt, 49, was held prisoner for hours, her wrists and ankles bound with rope, cable ties and duct tape.

Cardamone then sedated the council records clerk with animal tranquiliser, injected her with battery acid and the drug ice, before bashing her and fracturing her skull and ribs.

The brutal killer then doused his victim in petrol and set her on fire while she was still alive.

He likely then drove over Ms Chetcuti-Verbunt's dead body, fracturing her vertebrae, pelvis and scapula, and possibly sexually assaulted the mother-of-two while she was incapacitated.

Her body was found five days later.

Karen Chetcuti-Verbunt was murdered by Michael Cardamone in 2016.

Karen Chetcuti-Verbunt was murdered by Michael Cardamone in 2016.

Cardamone was on parole at the time after serving nine years' jail for raping a 15-year-old while menacing her with a large wrench and threatening to kill her and her family.

"The murder was premeditated, and committed in circumstances of the utmost cruelty," Chief Justice Anne Ferguson said on Tuesday.

"It was committed by an offender who had already shown himself to be a serious threat to women."

She added Cardamone underwent an "elaborate charade" after the murder to "save his own skin" and avoid taking responsibility, including an attempt to have the prosecution witness killed - an enterprise in which Cardamone entwined his elderly mother, having her pay thousands to a hitman, who turned out to be an undercover police agent.

"The sentence of life imprisonment, with no non-parole period was a dreadful punishment ... [But] it was, in the exceptional circumstances of this case, well merited," Justice Ferguson said.

"Even if he did come out at 75 or 80 years old, I still think he would be dangerous," her sister Lany Verbunt told reporters outside court.

"I try not to think about him, but I think about Karen every day and what she went through. I don't think she wanted to leave this earth so soon."

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