A “sadistic” roofer who murdered his pregnant girlfriend with a pair of scissors and a weight has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 27 years.
Liam Taylor, 37, stabbed Irish-born Ailish Walsh, who was almost 23 weeks pregnant with a girl, more than 40 times and smashed her head with a dumbbell at their flat in Hackney, east London, on December 15 last year.
In April, he pleaded guilty to murdering Ms Walsh, 28.
Judge Nigel Lickley KC, sentencing him at the Old Bailey on Thursday, called it a “ferocious, brutal and savage” attack.
Addressing Taylor, who watched from Belmarsh prison, the judge said it was an “extreme example of domestic abuse”, adding: “You betrayed her trust in that you murdered her in her own home.”
He concluded the attack was both “sadistic” and “sexual” in nature, because the roofer targeted certain parts of the victim’s body.
Judge Lickley said Taylor is “clearly” a man capable of using weapons to carry out violence.
Friends and family cheered and applauded in court as Taylor, who had his head in his hands, was sentenced.
The court heard the pair had a “volatile relationship” and that Taylor was upset about Ms Walsh’s latest pregnancy because he had two girls and wanted a boy.
The victim was discovered covered in blood and unconscious by her own father in her bedroom in Rectory Road, Stoke Newington.
Taylor, who had cocaine, cannabis and alcohol in his system, was arrested at his home the morning after the attack.
As he was taken into custody, he told police: “It’s crazy how one moment of madness can change your whole life.”
Taylor has previous convictions for attacking female members of his family, and was jailed for 12 months for assaulting his mother with a metal pole and cautioned for headbutting his sister when she was 16.
The court heard that on the night Ms Walsh was murdered, a female friend had received a WhatsApp message from her saying she was trying to get Taylor out of the flat after catching him taking drugs.
The female friend later called Ms Walsh, hearing her “screaming” and Taylor’s voice saying, “you can’t do that to me”.
Ms Walsh was later discovered covered in blood and unconscious in her bedroom by her father, the court heard.
CCTV footage showed Taylor had left the flat after the attack and then gone to a pub for a drink.
The prosecutor said that, while at the pub, Taylor had used Ms Walsh’s mobile phone to send messages pretending to be her.
Taylor, who had cocaine, cannabis and alcohol in his system, was arrested at his home the morning after the murder.
Matthew Perry, the ex-husband of Ms Walsh and father to three of her children, read a statement in court and said Taylor was “worse than a monster”.
He said Taylor had “subjected the children to a lifetime of torture” and they were “scarred beyond belief”.
Eamonn Goulding, Ms Walsh’s brother, called Taylor a “nasty vile excuse for a human” but said Ms Walsh’s memory would “live on forever”.