1. ITV Report

"No prison sentence will ever be enough for killing our precious Leanne," says murder victim's family

Simon Meecham. Photo: Essex Police.

The family of Leanne Meecham - who was murdered by her ex-partner - said no prison term would ever be enough punishment for killing their "precious sister, daughter and friend".

The 26-year-old, from Westcliff in Essex, was stabbed to death by Simon Meecham in February this year.

Today, he was sentenced to life in prison and told he would have to serve a minimum of 22 years behind bars.

Meecham, 43, was Leanne's step-father but began a relationship with her in 2007, 18 months after his relationship with her mother ended.

When they broke up, he was consumed with jealousy.

After discovering Leanne had begun a new relationship, he armed himself with a knife and went to her home.

Following his conviction earlier this weekend, Leanne's family spoke of their heartache.

"The past six months have been especially hard for us as we struggle to come to terms with how Leanne was taken from us.

"Despite the conviction of her killer, his term of imprisonment will never be sufficient punishment for taking Leanne from us.

"We will now try to move on with our lives, remembering Leanne and the wonderful times that we shared."

– Leanne Meecham's family.

Today, Essex Police welcomed the sentencing of Simon Meecham and thanked the witnesses who had helped bring him to justice.

"He has shown no remorse. He hasn't co-operated with the investigation.

"It is only through detailed forensic work and through the witnesses that were prepared to come forward in this trial that Simon Meecham's lies have been seen through and justice was obtained."

– Det Ch Insp Mark Hall, Essex Police.