A karaoke businessman who brutally murdered his girlfriend after she tried to end the relationship later applied for a victims of crime payout, a court has been told. More than 16 years after killing Joanne Howell, the “full consequences” of Paul Ross Charlton’s actions caught up with him as he was told he would likely die in prison. Charlton returned before the Supreme Court of Victoria on Wednesday, where he was jailed for up to 24 years. Handing down his sentence, Justice James Elliot said the 69-year-old had shown no remorse, noting he had applied for a compensation payout over Ms Howell’s murder in 2007. The court was told Ms Howell, 51, was found dead shortly before midnight on April 21, 2007, at the bottom of the stairs in her Hughesdale home. Her skull had been fractured and she had been strangled by Chalton hours earlier. The pair had begun dating a year earlier, with Charlton moving into the TV singer’s home within months. But at the time of her death arguments between the couple had escalated, with Ms Howell telling Charlton enough was enough and she wanted him out of the house and her life. In response, he performed a Nazi salute at Ms Howell. Charlton, who reported the body, tried to pin the blame on an unknown intruder, telling police he had been on a two-hour walk with their dog, Bundy. “If I’d been there she’d still be alive,” he said at the time. Despite Charlton being identified as the prime suspect, he was not charged with Ms Howell’s murder until 2021 when the cold case was reopened by homicide investigators. In July this year, Charlton collapsed in the dock after a Supreme Court jury found him guilty following just one day of deliberations. Justice Elliott described the offending as a “extreme act” of domestic violence. “You brutally murdered Ms Howell in her own home when she was entitled to feel safe,” he said. “Given your age, there is a very real prospect you will spend the remainder of your life in custody.” Charlton will have to serve a minimum of 19 years’ jail before he is eligible for parole.