A man who killed the mother of his son in a row over child support has been jailed for eight years.

Jerome McDonald strangled his ex-partner Janelle Duncan-Bailey during a fight at his home in Fairlands Avenue, Thornton Heath, in the early hours of January 2.

The dad-of-three killed the 25-year-old special needs school nurse after she revealed to his new girlfriend he was the father of her two-year-old son, Khamal.

He was yesterday cleared of murder by a jury but found guilty of manslaughter.

Today at his sentencing his Honour Judge Gerald Gordon said: "Two children have lost their mother and her family and friends are naturally devastated as I have heard and read in the impact statements.

"What is clear is that you inflicted in one way or another sustained compression on that lady's neck for at least 15 seconds and caused the significan damage to the layers of her neck down to but not including the spine itself."

During his trial the Old Bailey heard how the 31-year-old told police he pushed Miss Duncan-Bailey in the neck and she fell and hit her head.

He said when she was no longer breathing he placed Janelle in a sturdy bin liner that was then wrapped in a bedsheet before he put her in the boot of his car.

He drove the car a short distance, parking it on nearby Mayfield Crescent, before posing as a concerned friend as her family and police frantically searched.

A post-mortem held at Croydon Mortuary on January 7 gave the cause of death as asphyxia and compression of the neck.

Detective Chief Inspector Charles King from the Homicide and Major Crime Command said: "The investigation into Janelle's death was extremely challenging, especially for her family and friends who had to deal with the initial missing persons' inquiry followed by a murder investigation.

"The truth has finally caught up with McDonald who through the early stages of the investigation showed apparent concern for Janelle's disappearance.

"Janelle's family and friends have shown an immense amount of courage to attend court throughout this process, to have sat through and heard the distressing details of how Janelle came to die has been extremely difficult for them.

"I hope this conviction provides them with some small measure of solace and will allow them to now move forward."

In mitigation, Orlando Pownall QC, defending, said both Miss Duncan Bailey and the defendant had behaved in an uncharateristic manner on the night of her death.

He said McDonald had showed remorse for his actions, stating: "He did feel a sense of remorse, as the court heard he said: 'What will my child think of me?'

"This was not self pity but acknowledgement by the defendant publicly, that he had done wrong."

Mr Pownall asked the judge to take into account the fact there was no evidence a weapon contributed to Miss Duncan-Bailey's death.

He said: "No weapon was used, I want the court to include that evidence as to whether a ligature was applied is unclear.

"Your Honour should proceed on the basis the defendant grabbed the neck with one hand."