Man admits to choking murder of estranged wife

Man admits to choking murder of estranged wife

April 17, 2023

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A man has admitted he murdered his estranged wife at their family home, confessing moments before a jury was to be selected for his trial.

Zoran Pandilovski was due to face the first day of a murder trial in Victoria’s Supreme Court on Monday, but he pleaded guilty just before the empanelment process began.

He went to Elaine Pandilovski’s home in the Melbourne suburb of Mill Park at 7.45am on July 14, 2020, where she was alone.

Pandilovski choked her to death and then tried to move her body to the basement of the home they once shared, to conceal it.

He then fled in his car and drove along Western Ring Road at a fast speed before crashing.

The facts of the case were previously revealed by Justice Christopher Beale.

Zoran Pandilovski’s brother and mother leave court on Thursday.Credit: Justin McManus

Colleagues of Elaine Pandilovski, who worked as a teacher’s aide at Plenty Park Primary School, became concerned when she did not show up to work on July 14.

They called her mother, who went to check on her but could not find her after searching through the property.

Police went to the home later that evening and found her body in a storage room of the basement.

The pair married in 2002 and had a son together before they separated in late 2018.

Elaine and Zoran Pandilovski. Credit: Facebook

Last week, Pandilovski offered to plead guilty to manslaughter but prosecutors refused this and a jury was empanelled for his murder trial on Thursday.

That jury was discharged on Friday after a legal issue during selection where Justice Beale excused a retired police officer from serving as a juror.

He said he excused the former cop because there could be a reasonable basis for apprehended bias if he sat on the jury.

However, Beale agreed with lawyers from both sides to start over with another jury to avoid any issues down the track if Pandilovski was convicted and then appealed.

Pandilovski was taken back into custody and will next face court on June 23 for a pre-sentence hearing.

If you or anyone you know needs support, you can contact the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732), Lifeline 131 114, or Beyond Blue 1300 224 636.


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