A Halifax-area man convicted of second-degree murder will serve the next 15 years in prison before he’s eligible for parole.

Paul Trevor Calnen was convicted of murdering his girlfriend Reita Jordan before burning her body.

There was a round of applause and lots of hugs following the sentencing.  

“It doesn't change it,” said Donna Jordan, Reita’s mother. “It doesn't change the sadness. I mean, there's a lot of broken hearts in there today.”

“No one's ever going to heal,” said Warren Jordan, Reita’s father.“We'll think about her every day.”

During sentencing, Justice James Chipman called Calnen's crimes senseless, cruel and cowardly.

“Justice Chipman did a great job,” said Crown prosecutor Rick Woodburn. “He considered all the factors, considered the law and came up with a just parole and eligibility.”

The Crown was pushing for Calnen to serve 17 years before being eligible for parole, while the defence argued for the minimum sentence of 10 years.

“It was a bit higher on both charges than what we asked for,” said defence lawyer Peter Planetta. “It was less than what the Crown asked for though so kind of split the difference.”

Calnen chose not to speak during sentencing. He appeared upset as the judge read aloud how he disposed of the body. Calnen pleaded guilty to indecently interfering with human remains.

“In this particular case, the offense was so bad and so horrific that he decided to give the max sentence, which is five years,” said Woodburn.

Jordan was reported missing in April, 2013. Calnen was arrested two months later.

Calnen maintained that Jordan died throwing a punch at him, then fell down a set of stairs at his home in Hammonds Plains, N.S.

He admitted to dumping her body in Ingramport, N.S., before moving and burning it on a logging road in Musquodoboit, N.S.

Jordan’s remains have never been found.

The defence says there will be an appeal, which has to be completed in 30 days.

“I don't know how the sentence will play into that, but the conviction is being appealed,” said Planetta.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Matt Woodman.