A teenager who killed a mother-of-three in a knife attack has been sentenced to life imprisonment and will serve a minimum of 17 years.

Reece Ludlow, 19, of Oakwood Court, Benhill Wood Road, Sutton, pleaded guilty yesterday to murdering 35 year old Louisa Brannan, 35, from Mitcham , at his home in March last year.

Ms Brannan first met Ludlow in a Mitcham pub a few days before her death. On Sunday, March 13, they met again and went on to Ludlow's address in Sutton.

Early on Monday morning, Ludlow made a series of telephone calls to his ex-girlfriend in which he confessed to stabbing Ms Brannan , who at this point was gravely injured but still alive in the flat and pleading for help.

Ludlow made a telephone call to his mother, at 5am who went to the property and called the emergency services. Louisa Brannan's body was discovered in the bathroom. She had suffered multiple stab wounds to her face, neck and back. Ludlow had left the property.

Inside the flat police officers found two bloodstained knives, one of which had Ludlow's fingerprints on it.

Detectives from the Homicide and Serious Crime Command launched a manhunt to find him. He was arrested on March 19 at Victoria Rail Station.

Detective Inspector Dave Reid, Homicide and Serious Crime Command, said: "Reece Ludlow not only attacked Louise Brannan in the most vicious and violent manner but he failed to call an ambulance and instead spent hours speaking on the telephone instead. He did not account for his actions during his police interviews and has never properly explained why he inflicted such a fate on Ms Brannan.

"Ms Brannan's family has been left devastated by her death and I only hope that Ludlow's conviction will go in some small way to comfort them."