SHE had finally broken the shackles of a violent relationship.

For Katie Summers, a young mother of four, life was beginning again.

Looking forward to a brighter future, the 24-year-old had even enjoyed a rare girls’ night out in Bolton town centre.

But that innocent celebration was to plant the seed of jealousy in the head of her ex-partner, Brian Taylor, who just five days later would stab her to death in a brutal and frenzied attack in her own home.

Taylor, who is now serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to the murder yesterday, had been with Katie Summers, also known as Katie Boardman, for more than eight years.

The couple had four children together.

However — tired of suffering from his drunken mood swings — Katie ended the relationship and moved into a house in Masefield Drive, Farnworth, with two of their children, boys aged two and three.

Andrew Menary QC, prosecuting, told a jury: “This killing was the brutal culmination of a history of domestic disturbance and turbulence which had marked their relationship.

“The motive for the killing appears to be the end of their relationship and the defendant’s reluctance to accept that and his suspicion that Katie Summers may have been interested in someone else.”

The couple had split up for three months when on Saturday, October 4, 2008, Katie went to Barracuda Bar, in Bolton town centre, with her friend Lindsay Atkinson.

Mr Menary described this night as the “catalyst” for what was to come, as Taylor had got wind of it and went round to her Farnworth home and began calling her on her mobile phone.

He was angry and waited for her to get home, at which point a row erupted.

The following Monday, still simmering with jealousy, Taylor went to a friend’s house and told him Katie was “doing his head in” saying: “I feel like killing her,” adding: “how long do you think I will get if I kill her?”

On Wednesday, October 8, Taylor went to see a friend of Katie’s and said he was going to break into Katie’s house and stab her, but the friend dismissed his comments.

The following morning, Taylor calmly told the friend he was going to his mother’s, but instead went to Katie’s house and murdered her.

He picked up a kitchen knife with a 20cm blade and began his attack.

The stabbing took place in the living room while their two young children were inside the house.

It is not clear if they saw what happened but they would have heard their mother’s screams of “stop” and “don’t,” which were later reported to police by neighbours.

Taylor carried on stabbing Katie even as the handle on the knife broke from the blade, and caused cuts to his own hands in the process.

The court heard that Taylor then took the two children, who were still in their pyjamas, to his mother’s house.

They were covered in blood from their father and Taylor told his mother that he had “stabbed Katie 100 times in the neck.”

He said he was sorry and fled, leaving his mother to call the police.

Officers went to Masefield Drive and found the mutilated body of Katie next to the sofa.

Mr Menary said there was blood on the curtains and walls, adding: “She was covered from head to toe in blood. Blood-stained clothing was found under the stairs.”

Taylor’s fingerprints were found in blood on the living room floor.

Two fingerprints belonging to Taylor were found in blood on the door handle of the lounge.

Taylor was arrested near Bolton Parish Church in Churchgate a short time later.

He had been drinking from a bottle of vodka and had been smoking cannabis.

He had serious cuts to his hands and had told a man he had met while walking in the area, that he had just killed his partner.

Taylor had a history of drink and drug problems. The couple had always had a volatile relationship and Taylor had made threats to kill her many times in the past.

The court heard that there was no question Taylor had been motivated by jealousy.

Senior investigating officer Andy Tattersall said: “Taylor stabbed Katie in a vicious attack brought on by a rage of jealousy.

“He had clearly thought about killing her and had been telling friends about it in the days leading up to her death.

“Unfortunately, their children are now going to have to grow up without a mother or a father and Taylor only has himself to blame for that.

“Knowing he will be behind bars for a long time to come will hopefully bring some closure to Katie’s family.”

After the sentencing, Katie’s sister, Sarah Summers, aged 21, from Farnworth, said: “Katie loved her kids so much and she was really excited about Christmas because it was the first time she was going to be able to have loads of presents for the kids and a proper Christmas dinner.

“She was bubbly and energetic.

“Sometimes it just doesn’t feel real. I can still picture her standing at my house knocking on my window. It’s horrible.”

The court heard that both Sarah and Katie’s mother, Deborah Weston, were still suffering from nightmares and that due to the horrific nature of Katie’s injuries the family had not been able to say a proper goodbye to her.

Katie’s father, Paul Boardman, said: “I don’t feel any closure.

“I feel I am a strong man but this has broken my heart.

“I can’t help thinking that the two children may have seen it.”

A close friend of the family, who asked not to be named, added: “Katie’s only problem was cutting ties with Brian. She didn’t really love him, but she felt for him because he was the father of her kids.

“I hate him and I hate violence but I want him to suffer the pain he made Katie suffer.”