Borce Ristevski’s son has claimed he convinced his father to plead guilty to the manslaughter of his wife Karen by threatening to reveal secret details into a shocking family affair.
Speaking exclusively to news.com.au following the announcement of Ristevski’s plea, Anthony Rickard said he had threatened to speak out about his relationship with stepmother Karen if asked to give evidence during a murder trial.
Rickard, who is Risteski’s son from a previous relationship, shed light on the situation, claiming the change in plea was ultimately because of him.
“I am responsible for this, I gave him an ultimatum,” he told the publication.
“I told him; ‘if you don’t get up and be a man I’ll go into the (witness) box and tell them exactly what went on behind closed doors.”
Rickard told news.com.au he was referring to a sexual relationship he had with Karen, which began when he moved in with his father and stepmother when he was a teenager.
The shock claim follows news on Wednesday that Ristevski will plead guilty to the manslaughter of his wife Karen, nearly two years after her body was found dumped in Victorian bushland.
Ristevski has maintained his innocence up until now and switched his plea on the eve of his Supreme Court trial on Wednesday. Rather than pleading not guilty to murder, Ristevski will plead guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter, the Herald Sun reported.
Karen, a fashion boutique owner, went missing from their Oakley Drive home in Avondale Heights, Melbourne, in June 2016, and her body was found by a member of the public in bushland in the Mount Macedon Regional Park on February 20, 2017. Her remains were found under a log in the park, but police have not publicly released her cause of death.
Her husband, who was the last person to see Karen alive, told police she left the home to clear her head after they’d argued, but after failing to return the next day, he reported her missing. Ristevski was charged with Karen’s murder in December 2017.
The investigation was filled with twists and turns with police releasing evidence over the months in an effort to weed out the killer.
In 2016 they released CCTV footage of a black Mercedes-Benz SLK coupe, similar to one owned by Karen, travelling towards Mount Macedon. At the time, News Corp reported that an unidentified man was seen standing alone with the car in the area, about 1.5 kilometres away from where Karen’s body was eventually found.
A year later, Karen’s brother-in-law Vasko Ristevski was captured on film walking in bushland where her body was found eight months after she disappeared.
Channel Nine’s A Current Affair was filming a story on the case that day and happened upon Vasko has he wandered around the area. He refused to answer their questions and quickly got into his car and left the scene.
Around the same time, police seized an iPad containing suspicious Google searchers from the Ristevski family home in Avondale Heights.
According to the Herald Sun, the iPad’s search history included Google searchers on how police can detect traces of blood, how mobile phone data can be deleted, and how police might track phones.