The family of Karen Chetcuti has taken the next step to get financial compensation from Michael Cardamone for the severe trauma caused when he violently tortured and murdered the Whorouly woman in 2016.
Ms Chetcuti's former husband Tony Chetcuti and their children Jack, 20, and Kate, 18, appeared via video link in the Supreme Court yesterday.
Justice Lex Lasry gave Jack Chetcuti special permission to turn off the camera on his computer, so he did not have to see or be seen by Cardamone, who was also appearing over video link from prison.
Cardamone, 53, is serving a life sentence, with no opportunity for parole, which was a landmark decision when it was handed down in August 2017.
He murdered his Whorouly neighbour Ms Chetcuti in the early hours of January 13, 2016 after he took her from her home and likely held her captive in his shed.
He doused her with petrol and burned her alive near Lake Buffalo, after he had injected her with an animal tranquilizer and fractured her skull.
Justice Lasry said at the time that "the crime you committed was quite simply horrifying, depraved and disgusting".
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The Chetcuti family has applied for compensation for the suffering caused.
The application of Tony Chetcuti states he had post-traumatic stress disorder, major depressive disorder and persistent complex bereavement disorder.
Jack Chetcuti also suffered from adjustment disorder with anxiety and depression, and major depressive disorder; and Kate Chetcuti suffered from complex bereavement disorder.
The court heard Cardamone has experienced problems getting a lawyer to represent him in this case, because Legal Aid was no longer visiting prisons during the coronavirus pandemic.
Justice Lasry said Cardamone was entitled to legal advice about whether to have a say in court on the application, but without a lawyer, it would fall to him to give legal assistance.
"I imposed on him a particularly severe sentence," he said.
"I don't think it's appropriate for me to be endeavouring to carry out that function, given the history of this matter and that I was the sentencing judge when he pleaded guilty to the charges."
Cardamone will be given the opportunity to get legal advice through the Victoria Bar's pro bono scheme before the case goes ahead in court.
"I'd be happy about that, your honour, if I could have someone to help me out. I don't know much about the system so if I could get someone to help me, it would be much appreciated," Cardamone said,
The case was adjourned until a date either later this week or early next week.