A man who stabbed his girlfriend 145 times in front of her 10-year-old daughter has been jailed for life.

Sharon Blair, aged 42, from Walsall, was unrecognisable after the frenzied attack by Christopher Jones at his home in Street, Somerset in April 2006.

Her 10-year-old daughter pleaded with him to stop after hearing screaming.

A jury at Bristol Crown Court took 80 minutes to find 54-year-old Jones guilty of murder. He will serve a minimum of 16 years.

'Horrific attack'

Jones, who had claimed it was a "crime of passion", admitted manslaughter - claiming he acted in self-defence.

Mr Justice Charles Gray said: "You subjected Sharon Blair to a most horrific attack.

"You stabbed her well over 140 times with kitchen knives - the force of the blows was such that the blades of two were bent and another was broken entirely."

The judge also dismissed Jones's claim that the voice of a 17th century African slave had told him to kill his lover as a "complete fabrication".

Jones showed no emotion as the guilty verdict was delivered.

'Mutilating wounds'

The trial heard Ms Blair was killed shortly before midnight on April 15 last year.

The couple had been seeing each other for six years and Ms Blair was staying for the weekend with her daughter and six-year-old twins.

They went to bed but Mr Jones went downstairs two hours later to make a cup of tea. He was followed into the kitchen by Ms Blair where he stabbed her repeatedly.

Prosecutor Paul Dunkels QC told the jury at Bristol Crown Court: "Jones slashed her with serrated knives so she suffered mutilating wounds to her face, scalp, torso, arms and hands."
 

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