Rick's wife, Julene, was sentence to 18 months in jail for perjury and attempting to perver the course of justice after lying to police about Tiahleigh's death.
Thorburn's defence barrister said his client had been a child in care himself after his mother died when he was nine years old and had spent time in juvenile institutions and on the streets.
In a letter submitted to the court written by Thorburn, he said not a day went by when he wasn't haunted by what he had done.
Tiahleigh Palmer's foster father Rick Thorburn has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his foster daughter, Tialeigh Thorburn who was killed in October, 2015.
Tiahleigh's badly decomposed body was found on the banks of the Pimpama River, six days after her foster father claimed he'd dropped her safety at school. He also pleaded guilty to attempting to pervert justice and perjury.
He also pleaded guilty to interfering with a corpse, attempting to pervert the course of justice and two counts of perjury.
Sometime between 8pm and 10pm on October 29, Rick Thorburn murdered the 12-year-old, the court was told.
Prosecutor Carl Heaton QC told the court Thorburn had told his family "it was all taken care of" after he murdered Tiahleigh, to "protect" Trent from criminal charges, later dumping her body on a riverbank.
Just metres away, Tiahleigh's biological mother, Kiwi Cindy Palmer finally got the admission she has waited for years - that the man trusted with caring for her daughter actually snuffed out her life.
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Outside court, Ms Palmer said she needed time to process the sentence and grieve with her family in private.
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Thorburn had told a number of lies to cover up the crime and those of his wife and two sons, who have already been jailed for their involvement.
"You murdered this defenceless child, who relied on you for protection", said sentencing Justice David Boddice, "and you did so to save one of your own children because of the consequences of his actions".
Trent, who admitted to having sex with his foster sister, was jailed in September 2017 for a maximum four years after pleading guilty at the Beenleigh District Court to four charges, including incest.
When she was reported missing from school Thorburn feigned concern, while knowing exactly what had happened to her. It was later confirmed to be Tiahleigh.
Police interviewed scores of school friends and offered a A$250,000 (£140,000; $190,000) cash reward for information.
"She would walk around with a handsome smile".
Sept 20, 2016: Rick Thorburn is charged with Tiahleigh's murder.
While she was showering, he also told his mother about committing incest with his foster sister.
The Thorburns' eldest son, Joshua, was sentenced to three months' jail in July 2017 after pleading guilty to the same charges as his mother.
Sept 14, 2017: Trent Thorburn is sentenced to four years' jail after admitting he had sex with Tiahleigh.
November 3, 2017: Julene Thorburn is sentenced to 18 months' jail for perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice, with the sentence suspended after six months. He was released in late January 2018, after serving 16 months.