Murder victim's family in court for sentence

Murder victim Matthew Digby's parents have told of the pain at knowing they may never get answers about their son's death.

"It's just knowing what he would have been suffering that makes it so difficult to accept his death," Mr Digby's mother Dianne said outside Wollongong Courthouse yesterday.

Lauren Mae Batcheldor, 33, of Albion Park Rail, and Richard James Walsh, 34, of Dapto, were yesterday sentenced in the NSW Supreme Court sitting in Wollongong, after earlier being found guilty of kidnapping and murdering Mr Digby.

Batcheldor will spend at least 18 years behind bars, while Walsh was jailed until at least 2031.

Mr Digby's parents John and Dianne, older brother Marcus and his partner Elodie, and younger brother Leighton and wife Alex, attended every day of the Wollongong trial and were yesterday supported by members of their extended family.

During the trial differing accounts of how Mr Digby died were given in evidence, including claims Walsh used a dog chain to strangle him.

Justice Geoffrey Bellew found that Mr Digby was killed during an altercation with Walsh but he was unable to reach a conclusion about how his death occurred.

John Digby said yesterday's sentencing proceedings had been difficult to endure.

"Today wasn't a very good day ... but from today on we'll start moving on, never forgetting what's happened obviously, but go forward," he said.

Although the sentence would not bring his son back, John Digby said he felt it had been fair.

"Nothing would be enough, but I think justice has been done."

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