John and Novy Chardon on their wedding day
John and Novy Chardon on their wedding day

‘Your kids now know what you did’: Chardon jailed

GOLD Coast millionaire John Chardon has been jailed for 15 years after been found guilty of his wife Novy's February 2013 manslaughter.

It took a Brisbane Supreme Court jury over nine hours to find Chardon not guilty of murder but guilty of his 34-year-old wife's manslaughter, returning their verdict on Monday.

Chardon, who has consistently denied any involvement in the killing either accidental or intentional, will be eligible for parole after 12 years' of the sentence have been served.

The court heard he would will likely be subject to dangerous prisoner legislation due to previous convictions for sex offending, which could affect his release.

He was sentenced on the basis some violence occurred between he and Novy, which led to her death but that he had no intention to kill his wife.

The Indonesian-born woman's body had never been located.

During Chardon's sentencing hearing today, the court heard the man had several previous convictions -- one for child-sex offending and one for rape.

Justice Ann Lyons noted the child-sex offending had occurred within six weeks of Novy's disappearance in 2013.

A sketch of John Chardon in court. Illustration: Richard Gosling
A sketch of John Chardon in court. Illustration: Richard Gosling

Crown prosecutor Mark Green told the court the circumstances of Novy's death remain unknown but that Chardon had clearly disposed of her body in a calm and rational way.

He said "whatever happened, there was a violent incident" because urine was found on the floor in Novy's room.

"There must have been an act in the bedroom that was a fatal act or an act with the intent to disable," Mr Green said.

Justice Lyons later asked: "So the only available inference is that she died violently but given there were two children in the house, that she died silently?"

In a victim impact statement read to the court written by Novy's friends Deborah Manduapessy and Frederika Wong, the pair said their life had changed forever since the death of the "daughter, mother and best friend".

"We will never be able to comprehend the grief and sorrow from all those who loved her dearly," Ms Manduapessy said.

"Novy was a dedicated and selfless mother who loved her kids unconditionally.

"She will never see her children graduate, joyful milestones and successful career moments.

"Engagements and wedding days, the joy of holding her grandchildren, because of one selfish and sickened act."

Ms Manduapessy told the court Novy's friends miss the woman "every second of every day".

"Words are terribly inadequate to described the magnitude of her loss," she said.

"... there is comfort in knowing that justice was served and this cannot happen again in the hands of John Chardon."

Novy Chardon’s mother is still deeply affected by her death.
Novy Chardon’s mother is still deeply affected by her death.

In a statement read to the court from Novy's mother, the woman said she still saw her daughter in dreams and "even as years pass I am still in deep sorrow".

In his submissions, defence barrister Tony Glynn QC asked the court to sentence Chardon to nine years' jail because of his age, but told the court there was no evidence to show the 72-year-old was not in good health.

Throughout the trial, Chardon claimed Novy had walked away from her life.

"I had no one kill her, I didn't kill her, as a far as I know she's out there running around the world somewhere," Chardon said in evidence.

It has previously been revealed notorious conman Peter Foster in 2015 claimed he had elicited a sensational confession from Chardon, who allegedly said he shot his 34-year-old wife at Upper Coomera in 2013.

The jury in Chardon's trial was never told of Foster's evidence because the alleged confession was ruled inadmissible at the eleventh hour in a separate hearing after a court found it was too unreliable.

But today, Foster turned up to watch Chardon's sentencing and sat attentively in the public gallery.

In sentencing, Justice Lyons said while there was no direct forensic evidence linking Chardon to the killing "there was substantial circumstantial evidence the man had killed Novy".

She said his case fell into the most serious category of offending.

"I accept that the evidence at trial and was that around the time of her death she was fearful of you," she said.

"The available inference is that she died at your hands.

"You would have had to overcome her with some force to subdue her.

"She was defenceless and clearly lived in fear of you... having told (another person) if she argued with you you would get angry and kill her.

John Chardon was convicted of his wife’s manslaughter on Monday
John Chardon was convicted of his wife’s manslaughter on Monday

 

"While she died violently, she died silently.

"There is no evidence of pre-planning or pre-meditation based on the jury verdict.

"It's clear, however, that shortly after her death you disposed of her body and evidence that could incriminate you.

"You then calmly went about your life. You appeared as normal. Indeed, you were amazingly calm. In fact you propositioned Novy's best friend that very day, which reveals so much about your character as a man."

Justice Lyons said "after her death at your hands you continued you life as if nothing had happened".

She said Chardon went about disposing of incriminating evidence.

"You clearly have no qualms about involving other people in your criminal actions," Justice Lyons said.

"Your ability to calmly weave a web of lies is of great concern. You held off reporting her disappearance to police. When you spoke to police you lied and then continued to lie and lie and lie... You continued that fanciful story and lied on oath. Concerningly, you involved your young daughter in this story."

Justice Lyons said "Novy was entitled to make choices about her future and plan a life without you".

"We will never know what happened to Novy that night. You do, you've never confessed," she said.

"We don't know what happened to her body. You do, you've never revealed (its) location.

"You will have to live with the knowledge you killed the mother of your young children. Your two children now know what you did.

"They will have to live their lives knowing not only that you killed her, discarded her and deceived them for more than six years through a web of lies.

"You denigrated Novy at every available opportunity and led your children to believe she had abandoned them... I hope that some time in the future Novy's children read these sentencing remarks to correct the record and know she did not abandon them, she loved them fiercely...

"You showed no respect for her when you spoke about her to others. You showed no respect for her in the final hours of her life. Over the last six years you showed no scintilla of remorse."