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THE killer of former Hampshire student will spend at least 26 years behind bars after being jailed for her brutal murder.

Mexican illegal immigrant Sergio Saavedra-Navarrete also faces deportation after a court heard gruesome details of the way in which he killed 22-year-old mother-of-one, Sarah O'Neill.

Miss O’Neill, who attended Brockenhurst College, suffered fatal head injuries when her violent ex-boyfriend attacked her on January 8. He admitted murder.

Her two-year-old son, Malachai, was staying with his father at the time of the attack, during which Miss O’Neill is said to have been raped and also to have miscarried her attacker’s baby.

Bristol Crown Court heard Saavedra-Navarrete, 27, had a history of alcoholism and attacked Miss O’Neill in a drunken state after she said she wanted to end their relationship and have a termination.

Miss O’Neill had moved to Bristol in 2012 and met Saavedra-Navarrete in the middle of last year. He moved into her flat but friends said she wanted to end the relationship after he became increasingly violent.

Sarah’s mum, Vivien, who still lives in Mudeford where her daughter grew up, has told of her devastation and her hope that Sarah’s killer will remain behind bars for the rest of his life.

She is reported as saying: “As a family we are devastated and torn apart by grief so strong that to continue to live without Sarah is an unimaginable sorrow.

“Sergio has taken away my precious daughter, Sarah, and for that he will experience a minimum of 26 years in prison but my strong feeling is that’s where he should remain until the time of his own death.”

After the case, Detective Inspector Julie Mackay of Avon and Somerset Police, said: “The attack on Sarah was a savage one which left her with horrific injuries.

“It was the worst kind of betrayal from a man who, out of kindness, she continued to allow to share her home despite them recently separating.

“Sarah’s murder has town her family apart and I know that it will take them a long, long time to adjust to a life without Sarah in it.”