Brisbane man jailed for life over vicious murder of pregnant woman.

A devastated husband has watched the man who murdered his pregnant wife be sentenced to life in prison.

Andrew Michael Burke,was 17 years old when he killed 27-year-old Joan Ryther in a brutal attack in May 2013.

As Ryther walked to work in Brisbane, Burke had dragged her into a yard, assaulted her, and left her to die.  He was convicted of rape and murder, as well as killing Ryther’s unborn child.

Image via Ten News/Screenshot.


Her husband Cory Ryther bravely faced his wife's killer to read his victim impact statement in court.

"We meant no harm ... to anyone. We just wanted to live," he said.

"Life for me now is empty and hollow. I feel like there's nothing left really to live for."

Mr Ryther said the crime was 'inhuman', and told the court he had struggled with feelings of guilt since his wife's death, and had been sleeping on the lounge because he couldn't bring himself to stay in the couple's bed.

Joan Ryther's life was taken 19 months to the day after the couple were married in the Philippines.

"I have learnt how to hate," Mr Ryther said in court. "Thanks for teaching me that."

Speaking to A Current Affair in 2013, Mr Ryther said he was unable to fathom the sheer brutality of the crime.

"I just can't understand or imagine how one person could do that to another, for no reason," he said.

"The brutality of it... the rage behind it... I can't understand it."

"I hope he's never out of jail."

Source: Screenshot/ABC.

Outside court on Monday, lead investigator Graham Pannowitz said Mr Ryther still struggled with his wife's death, but was satisfied with the verdict and sentence.

"It's unfortunate that by attending the court to support his wife he's heard some graphic details of what occurred," he said.

Burke was also sentenced to terms of 14 years and five years for the other charges, with three years already served in pre-sentence custody.

Featured image: Ten News/Screenshot.