Decades behind bars for Vic bathtub killer

Murat Davsanoglu initially claimed he and Ozlem "Ozzie" Karakoc had made a suicide pact.
Murat Davsanoglu initially claimed he and Ozlem "Ozzie" Karakoc had made a suicide pact.

Murat Davsanoglu claimed to love Ozlem "Ozzie" Karakoc but in the end he was just another man who killed a woman to get what he wanted.

Supreme Court Justice Lex Lasry made the damning assessment as he jailed Davsanoglu on Friday for 23 years for the murder of his on-and-off partner of almost two decades.

The 44-year-old must serve at least 18 years behind bars for the killing he admits was the result of his unwillingness to accept her engagement to another man and desire to move on from him.

"This is yet another case of a man inflicting his will on a woman by the use of fatal violence in her home," Justice Lasry said, slamming violence by men against women as an epidemic that "simply must be stemmed".

Davsanoglu sat emotionless in the dock as his fate was revealed to a full courtroom, including Ms Karakoc's family and his own.

Three weeks after Ms Karakoc engagement, she and Davsanoglu met for the final time at her Dandenong home, in Melbourne's east.

Just after midnight on July 14, 2017, as her young daughter slept in the next room, Davsanoglu held the 34-year-old under water in the bath with his full body weight.

She struggled, kicking and scratching him, desperate to survive.

"The means by which you caused her death must have been terrifying for her and required a significant degree of force," Justice Lasry said.

He then partially dressed her body, put it in his car and left, abandoning Ms Karakoc's then six-year-old daughter.

Davasnoglu spent the next three days driving Ms Karakoc's body back and forth across state borders.

He drove to Murray Bridge in South Australia, back to Melbourne's west, then back to South Australia.

He'd planned to drive to the Nullarbor to dump Ms Karakoc's body in the ocean - claiming it was what she wanted - but eventually returned home and left it in the garage.

Davsanoglu told his family what he'd done, claiming he "lost it" but had tried to kill himself.

He handed himself in to police three days after the murder, telling them she'd died in a suicide pact between them.

Police and prosecutors didn't buy it and he was charged with murder.

At trial, Davsanoglu took the witness stand to defend his actions as those of a man unable to carry out his end of the pact.

But when prosecutor Diana Piekusis SC turned to questions about leaving Ms Karakoc's daughter to wake up without a mother, Davsanoglu cracked.

After a pause, he admitted: "I just snapped that night, ok, that's it".

"Pardon?" Ms Piekusis replied.

"I just snapped that night and that's it," Davsanolgu said.

He said he was angry she'd moved on and killed her because he was losing her to another man.

Justice Lasry himself sought to clarify the shocking revelation after such an adamant denial.

"So there was no suicide pact on that night?" he asked.

"Not on that night, no," the killer replied.

It's unusual for a murder accused to testify and rarer still, to confess while in the witness box.

Davsanoglu's then barrister, John Desmond, who specialises in homicide cases, said he'd never experienced it in more than 30 years at the bar.

Justice Lasry told Davsanoglu he found it difficult to know if the guilty plea that followed was a sign of remorse.

Ms Piekusis revealed at a pre-sentence hearing he'd written to prosecutors, asking to change his plea.

He also wrote a letter to Ms Karakoc's devastated family, including her now 10-year-old daughter.

Outside court, Ms Karakoc's cousin, Seren Ozerkan, slammed him as remorseless.

"He never loved her. If you love someone why would you do that, why would you take away an innocent life?" she said.

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Australian Associated Press