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Man behind Kiesha Weippart's death sentenced to 16 years

"ROT in hell".

With those words the woman who has led a justice campaign for slain Sydney schoolgirl Kiesha Weippart broke down in tears as the man accused of dumping and setting the little girl's body alight was jailed for 16 years.

Robert Smith, 34, pleaded guilty in the NSW Supreme Court to manslaughter and accessory after the fact.

Alison Anderson, head of the Voice of Keisha support group, and the girl's family members wept throughout the sentencing hearing as the court heard horrific details of the six-year old's miserable life and her final moments on earth.

In his statement Smith said he heard "a loud bang" coming from Kiesha's bedroom on the night he found her unconcious on the floor.

He said she was still breathing but wouldn't wake up so he put her to bed and left.

The next morning he went to work as normal and when he returned, Kiesha was dead.

For two days Kiesha's body remained in a suitcase while Smith worked on a grisly plan to destroy the evidence.

He rode his bike to a reserve, dug a shallow grave with a hammer, returned home, placed the suitcase in the boot of a taxi, dumped the child's body into the grave, doused it in petrol and set it alight.

Two weeks later, he phoned 000 and reported Kiesha missing.

He was arrested at the grave site where police discovered the remains eight months later.

Justice Megan Latham said Smith made a "simple a cowardly choice" and failed in his duty to pretect a "helpless and vulnerable child".

She said she was unaware of another accessory after the fact case that approximated the gravity of his offending.

She described the way in which he had planned to destroy Kiesha's body as "particularly heinous".

Smith was sentenced to a total of 16-years jail.

He will be eligible for parole in 2023.

Outside court, Ms Anderson said while she glad Mr Smith was behind bars, nothing could make up for what he had done.

"It's not long enough - that will never cover for any of it," Ms Anderson said.

"It keeps him off the streets for X amount of time but at the end of the day, he should have got life."


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