AN “evil” soldier who stabbed his ex-girlfriend to death in front of their four-year-old son while his comrades were preparing to deploy to Afghanistan has been jailed for life.

Iraq veteran Ian Lowe, 25, was due to return from leave to Somme Barracks, at Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire, when he went to Leanne McNuff’s house, smashed the front door open before repeatedly stabbing her.

The lance corporal in the 1st Battalion the Duke of Lancaster Regiment (1 Lancs) was sentenced to a minimum of 28 years in jail after a jury at Manchester Crown Court found him guilty of the murder in Droylsden, Greater Manchester on March 11.

The court had heard his son Jaden cried “Daddy’s killed Mummy” after Lowe smashed his way into Miss McNuff’s home, before repeatedly stabbing her and stamping on her face.

The jury were told Jaden then ran out of the house and asked a neighbour: “Do you know my Daddy? He has killed my Mummy and she is all red.”

Moments earlier, Miss Mc- Nuff had been found in a pool of blood on the upstairs landing of her home by her brother, Ryan.

Lowe claimed a defence of a loss of self-control after he discovered she had a secret abortion, an affair, planned to move away with his son and had sold his pet dog, Princess.

Neil Flewitt, prosecuting, said Miss McNuff made a complaint to the Army in 2010 that Lowe had threatened to “get a hitman to kill her over Child Support Agency payments”.

Sentencing him, Mr Justice MacDuff said the jury was not fooled by his explanation and that he had gone around to her house to “get even with her”

in blaming her for the mess he had got himself into.

He said: “She was in the sanctuary of her own home and you committed a wicked attack on her in the presence of your four-year-old son.

“It was a frenzied attack.

Within a space of less than half a minute you had inflicted ten different wounds, virtually all of them when she was lying defenceless on the floor.

“The fear and pain she must have felt in her dying minutes is unimaginable. You are evil and dangerous.”