Life for dad who killed to spite ex-wife

Murdered: Indianna and Savannah. Picture: Supplied

A Melbourne father who made his two daughters pay with their lives to inflict pain on his former wife has been jailed for life.

Charles Amon Mihayo, 36, must serve at least 31 years for smothering four-year-old Savannah and three-year-old Indianna with a pillow during a game of hide-and-seek on Easter Sunday.

He told police they would not understand what he had been through and providing a reason for his crime would not make a difference.

But Victorian Supreme Court Justice Lex Lasry said yesterday that Mihayo's crimes were inextricably linked to his conflict with his former wife.

"You determined she would pay the price and inevitably so would your children - with their lives," he said.

"You decided to demonstrate to your ex-wife that she did not have the control over the children and their relationship with you that she thought she had.

"Your breach of parental trust is almost beyond belief. You gave in to the basest of instincts, revenge."

Justice Lasry said though Mihayo took responsibility for murdering his daughters, he was not truly remorseful.

"You acknowledged what you did was wrong but I am not at all sure that you actually regret what you have done," he said. "You do not appear to me to be crushed or broken in spirit by your wrongdoing."

Mihayo separated from his wife in 2011 and the pair began feuding over child custody arrangements.

In the weeks before the April 20 murders, he told his former wife he was relinquishing his entitlement to see the girls.

But he texted her asking to see the children one last time and told her she had "won".

Before they arrived at his home, Mihayo went shopping to buy the girls new dresses and shoes.

He dressed them in the frocks and filmed them dancing to the song Let It Go from the movie Frozen, then suffocated them. He bathed them and put them back in their dresses before calling police.

The family of Savannah and Indianna said the girls would be "forever missed, loved and never forgotten".

The Tanzanian-born Mihayo did not react in the court dock as he was sentenced.

AAP

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