Teen gets 17 years for murder of Mitcham mum in Sutton flat

A man who stabbed a woman to death in a brutal three hour attack has pleaded guilty to murder.

In dramatic scenes this afternoon at Woolwich Crown Court, Reece Ludlow, 20, changed his plea to guilty at his murder trial, minutes before he was to give evidence in his defence.

He had always admitted killing Louisa Brannan, 35, on March 14 last year after taking her back to his flat, in Oakwood Court, Benhill Wood Road, after they had met in the Kings Arms pub in Mitcham.

The mum-of-three died after an ordeal over several hours when she was beaten with a frying pan and repeatedly knifed.

He had called his ex girlfriend Fon Pronsan, 19, during the attack. She could hear Miss Brannan beg for her life on the other end of the line.

Ludlow had claimed diminished responsibility for the killing because of his alleged mental state at the time.

His defence to murder was to rely on two psychiatric reports from doctors.

But on Friday it emerged they had withdrawn their support for Ludlow's defence, after receiving a response to their own assessments of the killer from psychiatrists backing the crown prosecution service's case for murder.

It meant Ludlow had no defence, and pleaded guilty in front of the jury this afternoon to murder. The jury in turn, found him guilty.

The verdict was met with a shout of delight from Miss Brannan's family in the public gallery. Ludlow will be sentenced to life imprisonment tomorrow.