Burnley killer murdered partner he had met on internet

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A mum-of-four was ferociously stabbed to death in a frenzied prolonged attack by a man she had met on an internet dating website.

Burnley man Kevin Hawke had moved in with 39-year-old victim Sharon Winter less than two weeks before the fatal drunken attack during which she suffered more than 90 wounds.

Miss Winter begged for her life after he kicked and pushed her to the floor and then repeatedly stabbed with a nine inch knife.

Police arrived at the victim’s home in County Road, Walton, Liverpool and found shirtless Hawke (33) covered in her blood and discovered his victim lying dead on her back in the bloodstained flat, said Anya Horwood, prosecuting.

Hawke, an unemployed chef, originally from Burnley, has no previous convictions but Liverpool Crown Court heard that he had been violent to previous partners and at least one of Miss Winter’s friends had been uneasy about their relationship.

Imposing a life sentence on Hawke, who pleaded guilty to murder, Judge Clement Goldstone, QC, told him: “It was a brutal, vicious and prolonged attack.”

He said that Hawke had been drinking all day, and on the night of the killing, July 12th this year, they had a petty argument.

Miss Winter lightly slapped him on the face and instead of responding in a similar vein, having drunk at least 15 cans of beer, he got a knife with a four and a half inch blade and attacked her.

The judge ordered that Hawke, of no fixed abode, serve 17 and a half years before he can apply for parole but warned him that did not mean that was when he would be released.

Michael Bagley (defending) said that Hawke, who has learning difficulties, is genuinely remorseful. He had called the police and waited at the scene and did not try to run away.

His father died when Hawke was a teenager and he undoubtedly had emotional problems and had self-harmed and tried to kill himself.