A WIRRAL builder who drunkenly strangled his partner when their relationship came to an end was jailed for life.
Cathal Comerford, 41, was told he will have to stay in prison for a minimum of ten years and ten months before he can be considered for parole.
The dad-of-two previously pleaded guilty to the murder of Sara Williams at their New Brighton flat on April 15 but sentencing was adjourned until this week.
Lawyers had claimed on his behalf that Comerford didn’t realise he had killed Miss Williams until the following day because he was so drunk and that she had ‘goaded’ him by saying she was going to start seeing other men.
But Judge Clement Goldstone QC rejected those arguments.
He said: “You have pleaded guilty to the murder of Sara Williams, your partner of five years, whom you strangled and smothered to death in your home on the night of April 15.
“You were business partners as well as living together. On the night that you killed Sara Williams you and she had agreed that your relationship was at an end.
“Your relationship had been a stormy one. It had been punctuated by rows, disagreements and violence on both sides.
“Despite the drink you had consumed the effort you expended in strangling and smothering Miss Williams must have left you in no doubt as to what you had done.
“I’m prepared to accept that your intention was a short lived one and you immediately regretted what you had done.
“But your regret did not prevent you from falling asleep or prevent you from calling emergency services until some time after Miss Williams died.”
He added that because the relationship was over he had ‘no claim on Miss Williams’ fidelity’.
Cathal Comerford was born in Dublin but moved to England in 2003 and met Miss Williams over the internet.
They had a building business together that had recently failed. Heavy drinking and an inability to have children also put strain on the relationship.
The court heard he drank a crate of beer and a bottle of vodka before punching Miss Williams then strangling her at their flat on St James Road, New Brighton, leaving her body on the bed while he slept on the couch and only called the police the next morning.
Judge Goldstone added: “Whatever your remorse, your shame, your self loathing, it will be of little comfort to the family and friends of Sara Williams.
“Her loss leaves an inescapable hole in the hearts and minds of those to whom she was close.
“Their’s is a life sentence which will continue long after the time comes for consideration to be given to your release.”
He jailed Comerford for life with a minimum of 10 years and 10 months and said he will only be released when he is no longer considered a danger to the public.