Chef Conor Doyle, aged 23, mercilessly stabbed his former lover up to 75 times in a drunken rage.
He was told he must serve a minimum 10 years of a life prison sentence for murdering 21-year-old Angela Snoddy at her home near Belfast in October 2002.
But after a campaign by the mother-of-two’s outraged family, the North’s Appeal Court ruled that he must serve at least 15 years before being considered for parole. Doyle, of Limestone Road, north Belfast, sat with his head bowed as Lord Chief Justice Brian Kerr described it as an “unspeakable assault”.
He said: “What is clear, beyond question, is that she was the victim of a horrendous, sustained attack in which a number of knives were used.”
The three appeal judges who studied the case decided such savage violence against women had to be punished hard.
“While few cases involve the level of violence that was inflicted on the victim on this occasion, courts have a duty to send a clear message to those who engage in violence on women that severe penalties will be imposed on those who are found guilty of it,” the judge said.
Once the 30-minute hearing was over, the victim’s mother, Helen Snoddy, expressed relief at the outcome.
“Fifteen years sits better with me than 10,” she said.
“It sends a better message out to the violent men that have the murder of their partners on their minds.”
Mrs Snoddy said she had more time to care for her grandchildren without worrying about an early release.
But she admitted: “That fear will never leave me of Conor Doyle, when he gets out, coming after me and my family.”
Doyle and his victim endured a stormy 18-month relationship leading up to the shocking murder.
Their baby son was just seven-weeks-old when the murder happened.
Ms Snoddy also had a three-year-old daughter from an earlier relationship.
Doyle, who suffered psychiatric problems, had been out drinking heavily before taking his father’s car and driving to his former partner’s home at Whiteabbey, Co Antrim, where the attack took place. Police later found Ms Snoddy’s body with a knife lodged six inches into the chest.
He admitted to killing his ex-girlfriend so she would not take his son away.
Doyle also remarked callously: “At least I will see my child in 20 years’ time. She won’t.”