More than two years after Gold Coast detective Damian Leeding, 35, was gunned down, his shattered family is still coming to terms with his death.
The detective's killer Phillip Graeme Abell was on Tuesday handed a life sentence, with a minimum of 20 years without parole.
It was cold comfort for his victim's grieving family, who wept in the Brisbane Supreme Court as they told of the unbearable pain Abell's actions have caused.
Abell, 41, shot Detective Senior Constable Leeding in the head with a sawn-off shotgun after he and an accomplice were disturbed as they held up the Pacific Pines Tavern in May 2011.
The detective's mother and two sisters are haunted by memories of that night.
"I can still picture so clearly Damo lying on the bed, tubes and drains coming out of his head and his body... blood leaking from every imaginable hole," sister Chantelle told the court in a breaking voice as she read from her victim impact statement.
Mother Julie Waters described how for three days she'd prayed at her son's bedside for his survival, despite knowing that no one could recover from the terrible wound.
"Those images will remain with me forever," she said.
Nightmares, anxiety and post-traumatic stress dogged the family, straining relationships as each struggled to cope.
Chantelle told the court she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress and hospitalised after turning to alcohol and drugs.
Sister Hayley, who has named her newborn son Damian, was in the UK when the tragedy unfolded and never had the chance to say goodbye.
"My life has been turned upside down by his passing... may you now rest in peace," she said.
Outside court Ms Waters said she was grateful for the sentence but it wouldn't bring her son back.
The detective's widow and mother of his two children, Sonya Leeding, was too distraught to attend the hearing but police say she appreciated the sentence given to Abell.
Tavern staff who were terrorised during the armed robbery spoke of suffering nightmares, guilt and even losing the will to live.
Abell and accomplice Donna Lee McAvoy were last month found guilty of murdering Sen Const Leeding.
The court heard Abell had previously been jailed for two armed robberies in the 1990s and had threatened three people in a home invasion in 2010 using the same shotgun.
Supreme Court Justice James Douglas said Abell had shown no remorse for gunning down an officer in the line of duty.
"Your killing of a brave young police officer acting in the course of his duty has grievously affected his young family, his colleagues and the wider community," Justice Douglas told Abell.
The convicted killer showed no emotion when his sentence was handed down.
He will be 58 before he is eligible for parole in May 2031, having already served about two-and-a-half years' in prison since his arrest.
McAvoy, 39, and getaway driver Benjamin Ernest Power, 39, are to be sentenced at a later date.Power has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.