They met in Newcastle, they moved to Dubbo, and then there was a murder

Mashed potato murderer’s sentence reduced Murdered: Alois Rez and wife Sarah Tennant in Newcastle in 2006, seven years before his murder.

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Dead: Alois Rez in a photo supplied to police after he disappeared from his Dubbo home. His body has never been found.

TweetFacebook Alois Rez was murdered after eating mashed potato laced with sleeping tablets Mashed potato murderer Raymond Roff’s jail sentence reduced after appeal +2Mashed potato murderer Raymond Roff’s jail sentence reduced after appeal MORE GALLERIES

facebookSHAREtwitterTWEETemailwhatsappRAYMOND Roff and his young lover Sarah Tennant used crushed sleeping tablets in mashed potato to kill Tennant’s de facto in 2013 andstart a new life together.

On Wednesday an appeal court found Roff’s 32 year jail sentence was manifestly excessive, despite the “coldly and thoroughly” premeditated way former Newcastle man Alois Rez, 33, was murdered. His body has never been found.

Roff, 54, was re-sentenced to 25 years’ jail, with a non-parole period of 18 years and nine months, after the appeal court recounted the final days of Mr Rez before his murder in Dubbo on July 29, 2013, after Tennant put crushed sleeping tablets supplied by Roff into Mr Rez’s mashed potato.

The court heard Roff knew Mr Rez as a childwhen he played weekend sport with Roff’s son in Dubbo. Mr Rez and his mother moved to Newcastle in the early 1990s. Mr Rezmet Tennant in Newcastle in 2004 when she was 15 and he was 24 and the pair moved in together. Tennant was 16 when their first child was born.

The court heard Roff and his wife of 30 years, Cathy, were reunited with Mr Rez in Newcastle in 2010 when Cathy Roff required treatment at John Hunter Hospital. The court heard Roff was a caring and loving husband who supported his wife for many years as she battled serious mental health issues, including schizophrenia. She died of cancer in 2012.

NSW Supreme Court Justice Des Fagan said Roff’s “descent to murder” was “directly attributable to his infatuation” with Sarah Tennant, nearly 30 years his junior, after Mr Rez and Tennant moved to Dubbo from Newcastle in June, 2012, in part because of troubles Mr Rez had with the Rebels Outlaw Motorcycle Gang.

“The passion which the offender came to feel for Sarah Tarrant from late 2012 unhinged his judgment. He had been of sound sense and morality throughout all his adult years to this point. By every account given in evidence before me he was a solid, honest, hard-working family man,” Justice Fagan said when sentencing Roff in 2013.

The plot to kill Mr Rez was raised by Tennant two months after she began a sexual relationship with Roff, and after she told him she was pregnant.

Justice Fagan accepted Tennant told Roff she wanted Mr Rez “gone”, and that she wanted him dead.

Three days before Mr Rez’s death they formed a concrete plan to kill him. Roff supplied Tennant with sleeping tablets and told her to crush and mix them into Mr Rez’s evening meal on a night when Mr Rez’smother, who shared a house with them, was away.

NSW Supreme Court Justice Des Fagan

Tennant gave evidence she sent text messages to Roff afterMr Rez went into a deep sleep, then left the front door unlocked, switched off a sensor light and disconnected a closed-circuit camera.

Justice Fagan said Roff entered the house at 2am and killed Mr Rez. He wrapped the body in bedding, dragged the body to his car and Tennant helped him lift her de facto into the back of the vehicle.

“The offender drove out into the countryside and disposed of the body at an unknown location. He instructed Sarah Tarrant in a text message to hose off the driveway, which she did,” Justice Fagan said.

They did not report Mr Rezmissing, but planned to tell police he was most likely kidnapped and eliminated by Rebels members.

Justice Fagan said Roff murdered Mr Rez because of his strength of feeling for Tennant.

“She became everything to him. With her he felt he could be a young man again, starting over with a second family, of her children and their own,” Justice Fagan said.

“Without her the future was cold, widowed and alone in a country town. The starkness of the alternatives overwhelmed him.”

Justice Fagan sentenced Roff to 32 years’ jail after finding Roff had shown no remorse for the murder.

“He did not kill Alois Rez in a fit of rage, on the spur of the moment or in uncontrolled desperation. The crime was calculated for the advancement of the offender’s interests, to enable him to take up with the younger man’s de facto wife,” he said.

“He adopted criminal means proposed by the woman he did not want to lose.”

Three judges of the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal accepted Roff’s argument the sentence was manifestly excessive and reduced the sentence on Wednesday.

His earliest release date is May 8, 2032.

Sarah Tennant was jailed for a maximum 10 years and eight months jail for manslaughter, with a non-parole period of eight years.

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