Man jailed 27 years for murder

Tamara Farrell Photo: Supplied

Goya Dmytryshchak

An Altona man who murdered a woman in the Ballarat suburb of Canadian and buried some of her remains at Altona North was sentenced to 27 years’ jail on Thursday.

Shaye Kotiau, 23, pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court to murdering Tamara Farrell, 31, on February 17 last year.

Her burnt body was found near Sale days later, while some of her remains, including teeth, were unearthed by railway workers at Altona North on May 6 last year.

The court heard Kotiau had used a hammer and chisel to remove Ms Farrell’s upper teeth and entire lower jawbone in an attempt to conceal her identity if her remains were found.

In May this year, Kotiau’s younger sister, Kieahn Kotiau, was sentenced to a 12-month community corrections order for assisting in disposal of a body.

The Kotiau siblings had grown up with Ms Farrell and they all referred to each other as cousins.

The court was told that on February 16, 2019, the Kotiau brother and sister had driven from their Altona family home to Ms Farrell’s house in Canadian.

The three, together with Ms Farrell’s house mate, stayed up playing drinking games until about 6am the next day.

Kotiau was feeling unwell from excessive drinking so Ms Farrell brought him a bucket and three bottles of water, before going to her bedroom.

While everyone else was asleep, Kotiau killed Ms Farrell in her room.

He has never revealed the exact circumstances in which Ms Farrell was killed, only describing the killing as “brutal”.

Supreme Court Justice Paul Coghlan jailed Kotiau for 27 years with a non-parole period of 22 years.