A WOMAN who killed her boyfriend in Wirral by smashing a broken plate into his face has been jailed for seven and a half years.

Sarah Lewis, 46, admitted the manslaughter of Paul Lavelle during a trial this week at Liverpool Crown Court, having initially stood trial accused of murder.

Lewis, of Croxteth Avenue in Seaforth, Merseyside, pleaded guilty on Tuesday, January 23, and was sentenced today (Thursday, January 25).

Paul Lavelle was found dead at his flat in Old Chester Road on Sunday, May 28, 2017, having suffered a facial injury and serious bleeding.

Lewis was subsequently arrested on suspicion of his murder.

Detective Inspector Allison Woods said: “The sentence of Lewis today will hopefully provide some comfort to Paul's family, who continue to suffer the consequences of her actions that day.

“Lewis only chose to accept her guilt during her trial, dragging out the suffering of Paul's family and friends in the process. I would like to thank Paul's family for their bravery and courage during this ordeal, and assure anyone who is involved in domestic abuse to come forward and speak to people who can help the situation before it escalates.”

She added: “Domestic abuse can happen to anyone at any time regardless of gender, age and sexuality. It is important for people to recognise when it is happening to them and that confidential support and advice is available to those that need it.”

In a statement, Mr Lavelle's family said: "We would like to personally thank Merseyside Police and all involved for their support, compassion and hard-work shown throughout this devastating ordeal.

"May we also send a special thank you to family, friends and people who have shown an overwhelming amount of ongoing support.

"This has been a very deeply emotional time for our family and Paul's friends and we would respectfully ask that you leave us to finally remember Paul for who he was.

"Paul was very special to us all, and will never be forgotten, he will live on with us all forever."

* For more information about how to report domestic violence or to seek specialist support call the confidential 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247. This helpline is free and run in partnership by Refuge and Women's Aid.

People can also call police on 101 or if they are in immediate danger call 999.