Bodybuilder Sven Lindemann sentenced to 31 years for the murder of his girlfriend Monique Lezsak

“It is clear that he had trouble dealing with the fact that the relationship was over… it was clear that he was extremely angry at the prospect of Ms Lezsak being interested in someone else or wanting to end the relationship.

“Given their relative size and strength… it was only by sheer luck that Lily was not seriously injured.”

Mother of two children Monique Lezsak.

Mother of two children Monique Lezsak.

The court previously heard that during the attack, Lily had told Lindemann to “leave my mother alone”, while Lindemann shouted at Lezsak: “You’ve ruined my life.”

“You were not deterred by breaking two of the knives or having two taken from you,” Hollingworth said. “This was not a momentary loss of control…he was clearly determined to kill Ms Lezsak.”

After the attack, Lindemann transferred $71,000 between bank accounts, attempted to call his ex-wife, and then committed suicide. Hollingworth called the money transfer “particularly calculated.”


Lily called triple zero and told the police that her mother had been injured. “Please help me. My mom is dead,” she said on the phone, crying. “Stay with me, mom, stay with me.”

When the police arrived, they found Lily sitting next to her mother, covered in blood.

Lindemann, who has a tattoo of Jesus on the left side of his neck, did not react when his sentence was read. At an earlier hearing, Hollingworth told Lindemann to stop shedding “crocodile tears” as he sobbed in court.

Relatives, friends and supporters of Lezsak came to court when it was revealed that the young mother was worried about what Lindemann might do if she tried to end their relationship.

Jacqueline Schwartz, a lifelong friend of Lezsak, thanked police for their work in prosecuting Lindemann, whose actions had left her friends and family “horrified and devastated.”

Jacqueline Schwartz, a close friend of Monique Leszak, spoke in court Wednesday.

Jacqueline Schwartz, a close friend of Monique Leszak, spoke in court Wednesday.Credit: Wayne Taylor

“There is no excuse for such actions, there is no amount of punishment that is sufficient or replaces our loss,” he said outside court. “The destruction that has followed and the devastation it has caused is irreparable.

“Let it be clear… that we, as Australians, will not accept domestic violence. It will not go unnoticed or go unpunished.

“It must be said that domestic violence is not an isolated case and that it can happen to anyone. Women should be safe in their own homes. Especially from those they trust the most.”

At a time of heightened attention to domestic violence, the court heard that a psychological report found Lindemann’s “problematic gender-based beliefs” contributed to her inability to feel remorse for taking Lezsak’s life.

In his report, forensic psychologist Patrick Newton said Lindemann resented Lezsak because he had left his family to enter into a relationship with her and had a “number of problematic gender-based beliefs.”

Hollingworth accepted that Lindemann had pleaded guilty at an early stage and had used his time in custody productively, and that he had no criminal record, all of which entitled him to a small reduction in sentence.

But Hollingworth rejected that Lindemann was genuinely remorseful for his actions, finding that there was “no evidence of genuine contrition because you are not yet aware of your actions”, and that he had shown evidence of a “victim-blame mentality”.


The court heard that due to the nature of the murder, Lindemann may have to spend some time in protective custody. If Lindemann had not pleaded guilty, he would have been sentenced to 37 years.

According to the National Homicide Monitoring Program, domestic homicide victims accounted for more than one-third (or 38 percent) of all homicide victims in 2022-23. Most domestic homicide victims are killed by an intimate partner.

*Lily is a court-ordered pseudonym to protect the child’s identity.

If you or someone you know needs support, you can contact the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counseling Service on 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732).

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