Jail after Vic father killed with crowbar

Caitlin Guilfoyle
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Jail after Vic father killed with crowbar

A man has been sentenced to 12 years in jail after admitting he killed a Melbourne father of five.

It remains a mystery why Melbourne father Kenan Balikel was violently killed the day after the birth of his fifth child.

The 42-year-old was hit over the head with a crowbar by business associate John Butorac, who later got a friend to help him get rid of Mr Balikel's body by burning it in the boot of a car.

In sentencing Butorac to 12 years' jail on Friday, Victorian Supreme Court Justice Lex Lasry said the 2014 killing was "violent and extremely serious".

Butorac had no drug, alcohol or mental health issues at the time he attacked Mr Balikel in a Tullamarine factory after an argument.

He wrapped Mr Balikel's body and hid it between two cars in the building before enlisting another friend, Ante Bacak, to help dispose of it.

Mr Balikel's body was discovered in the boot of a burnt-out car near Diggers Rest on October 31, 2014, by CFA crews called out to control the blaze.

"The mystery as to why this occurred remains," Justice Lasry said of Butorac's "senseless act of violence".

Mr Balikel's wife, Mihriban Balikel, was in hospital recovering from a caesarean when she heard of her husband's death, the court has previously heard.

"That day I felt like my life suddenly ended," she said in a victim impact statement.

"The death of my husband and the age of my son is the same, which makes celebrating his life hard."

For months, Butorac denied knowing what happened to Mr Balikel. He admitted to killing the father of five just before he was due to face trial charged with murder.

The 50-year-old subsequently pleaded guilty to manslaughter and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

He had no significant prior criminal history.

Butorac was handed a non-parole period of eight and a half years.

He has already served 658 days in pre-sentence custody.