Jail for woman who shot husband

A woman who fatally shot her husband and kept his death secret for seven years has been sentenced to five years' jail.

Margaret Uttley, 54, was in bed asleep on October 11, 2000, when her drunk husband Stephen woke her and threatened her with a gun at their farm in Tarneit, north of Werribee.

Victorian Supreme Court Justice Robert Osborne said Uttley had acted in circumstances "precipitated by him'' by grabbing the gun and shooting her husband.

Justice Osborn said the killing was a "tragic criminal mistake in a life which has otherwise much to commend it".

He said Uttley had "desecrated'' her husband's body by burning and burying it on their property, then told "protracted and inconsistent lies'' about his death, including claims he had gone to the Northern Territory.

But Justice Osborn said Uttley had ultimately confessed the killing to police, and was a good mother to her four children.

Uttley will serve a minimum of two years' jail before being eligible for parole.