Billy Mills spoke to media outside Coffs Harbour courthouse.
Billy Mills spoke to media outside Coffs Harbour courthouse. Frank Redward

'I LET HER GO': Partner's final moments with Sharon Edwards

BILLY Mills had planned to spend the rest of his life with Sharon Edwards, he had no idea when he kissed her goodbye on the night of March 14, 2015, it would be for the last time.

Mr Mills was happy justice had been served when her estranged husband, John Wallace Edwards was convicted of murdering the Coutts Crossing Public School teacher by a Coffs Harbour Supreme Court jury yesterday.

Throughout the four-week trial the court was told Mr Mills and Ms Edwards were in love after rekindling their affair from the 1980s in 2015.

Ms Edwards wanted to leave her 34-year marriage to John Edwards and retire with Mr Mills in Forster.

"For 22 days I've been stressed out, but I feel great," Mr Mills said.

Apart from her killer, Mr Mills was the last person to see Ms Edwards before she met her horrific fate.

The couple had been enjoying a drink at a South Grafton pub and planned to spend the night at her Grafton home, but on arriving saw John Edwards's ute in the garage.

"I saw the ute there, I told Sharon to put the (garage) door down, we reversed out," he said.

"I said to Sharon, 'Stop the car for a minute, turn your lights off'.

"I remember looking into the house specifically to see if there was a curtain, a blind moving or there was lights on, and when I could see none of that I said, 'Sharon let's go'."

Mr Mills began to tear up as he recalled the final moments he spent with her.

"I said goodnight to her, took her by the hand, I said 'See you later', gave her a kiss, and then she was gone."

"It's always in my head … I had someone's life in my hand and I let her go."

It was the Crown's case that Ms Edwards returned to the house where John Edwards was waiting, enraged about Mr Mills, and a fight broke out between the two.

Ms Edwards's body has never been found. and Edwards maintained his innocence since being charged in 2017.

Mr Mills said he wanted the woman he loved to have the "final punch" and was surprised but glad the jury returned the guilty verdict.

Mr Mills will return to Coffs Harbour for Edwards' sentence hearing on December 16.