A DOMINEERING boyfriend who murdered his partner after years of abuse was jailed for life yesterday.

Kelly Risborough, 23, was battered to death during a row with Leslie Purvis.

During a two-week trial at Newcastle Crown Court, Purvis had claimed that his frantic efforts to resuscitate her after she drunkenly fell out of the bath could have led to her death. But the jury found him guilty of murder and he was jailed for life.

Judge David Hodson said Purvis had shown nothing but "nauseating hypocrisy and self pity" throughout the trial.

He added: "I have no doubt whatsoever that you are a brutal, callous, domineering man who used your superior weight, size and fitness to bully Kelly Risborough.

"Over the years of your relationship, you subjected her to prolonged and serious physical violence."

Toby Hedworth, prosecuting, told the jury that 40-year-old Purvis battered Miss Risborough in the semi-detached home they shared in Palgrove Road, Sunderland, in the early hours of April 22 last year.

He said: "Kelly was found lifeless on the bathroom floor. She was clothed but soaking wet. She had suffered massive injuries to her face and appeared to have been dead for some time."

Miss Risborough died as a result of massive bleeding which resulted from an extensive laceration to the liver, caused by a blunt object.

Her parents, Margaret and Joe, did not wish to speak after the guilty verdict, but in a statement said: "She was a wonderful daughter, mother and sister who is missed every day by not only her family but our very many friends.

"We thank you all for your love and support."

Detective Inspector Steve Wade said after the hearing: "I am delighted with the verdict.

"From the time of his arrest right up until the time of the verdict he has not shown one ounce of sympathy for either Kelly of any of the family."