Walter Marsh planned to kill his ex-wife in the weeks before the murder of New Zealand nurse Michelle Beets in Sydney, a court has been told.

Marsh, 52, was convicted by a Supreme Court jury last November of murdering Ms Beets, his former boss, by cutting her throat and stabbing her in the chest.

Today in Sydney he is facing a sentencing hearing where Justice Derek Price will hear submissions from the Crown and defence as to what jail sentence he should receive.

Crown Prosecutor Mark Tedeschi QC has told the court that Marsh flew to America prior to the murder of Ms Beets with the intention of killing his first wife Tammy.


That act, which didn't eventuate, goes to the heart of Marsh's "pre-planning'' of murder.

The jury were told Marsh killed his boss because she was giving him bad references that stopped him obtaining new work in Australia.

Marsh and his wife Samantha were in Sydney on a visa that required the registered nurse to be employed _ and if Marsh had been forced to return to the US, he would have to pay a $50,000 child support bill.

"It shows some degree of pre-planning,'' Mr Tedeschi told the New South Wales Supreme Court this morning.

"He (thought) he would solve the problem by murdering his ex-wife ... then it turned to murdering Michelle Beets.''

Marsh had his eyes closed for part of this morning's hearing and sometimes looked annoyed by the prosecution remarks.

The hearing continues.