The former partner of twisted sex killer Graham Coutts today spoke of her wish to "have a normal life" after he was sentenced to at least 26 years behind bars.

Lisa Stephens, 40, was pregnant by Coutts when he strangled Jane Longhurst, her good friend and former colleague.

Miss Stephens visited Coutts, from Hove, in Belmarsh prison once before the trial, but their relationship ended soon after his arrest.

She has always maintained that they had a normal sex life - though she was aware of his asphyxia fantasies - and has backed calls to curb internet pornography.

Speaking outside her home in Lower Market Street, Hove, yesterday, Miss Stephens said: "I'm glad it's over. I just want to move on, raise my children and have a normal life."

Coutts, 39, was jailed for life after he was convicted for second time after a retrial at the Old Bailey.

Coutts, who was obsessed with violent internet pornography. He was originally jailed for life with a minimum of 30 years, later reduced to 26, after being found guilty of the 2003 murder at Lewes Crown Court.

But the verdict was quashed after the House of Lords ruled that jurors should have been offered the alternative charge of manslaughter.

The jury in the new trial again rejected his claim that Ms Longhurst, originally from Reading, died during consensual sex after hearing how he had been fascinated with the idea of murdering women since the age of 15.

Philip Katz QC, prosecuting, told the court he had been looking at "horrific" images on pornography websites the day before the murder.

Afterwards he repeatedly visited the body, which he kept in a storage unit and regarded as his "trophy", for a "sexual thrill".

The judge said he had "not the slightest doubt" that the victim, who used to go swimming with Coutts, did not consent to sex with him and rubbished the killer's account that they had been "indulging in consensual asphyxial sex from which she tragically and accidentally died".

Rather than attempting to revive her, he had kept her in a car boot, then a garden shed, and finally at a storage unit before burning the body on a secluded common.