A killer who choked his lover to death has been locked up for six years.
David Anderson strangled Louise O’Brien then texted her young son pretending she was still alive.
Anderson snapped after a row because Louise had wanted to make some food.
The 36 year-old was discovered dead on a bed at their flat in Perth with a heart-shaped chocolate beside her.
Anderson, who had faced a murder allegation, returned to the High Court in Glasgow after admitting the reduced charge of culpable homicide.
Lord Boyd said Anderson was “clearly in love” with Louise and that only he knew “what exactly happened” between the couple that night.
The judge added he found it “chilling” Anderson used his dead partner’s phone to message her son after the attack.
The couple were together for around a year before the killing.
They had fall-outs, but Anderson was described by one person as the “best boyfriend” Louise had met.
However, call centre worker Anderson later told a colleague he was going to leave his lover and move to Dundee.
Prosecutor Bernard Ablett said the exact date of the killing was not known.
Former bar worker Louise was last spotted on April 24 this year before her corpse was discovered four days later.
During that time, Anderson called in sick to work claiming he had an upset stomach.
He was described as “sounding lost” and not his usual “chirpy self”.
Anderson was also spotted appearing “down” and walking alone in Perth city centre.
The killer made a series of web searches including: “if you are accused of murder, are you automatically put in prison?”
On April 28 Anderson contacted his mother to tell her: “I’ve done something terrible and I’ve been unable to deal with it mentally for days.
“I tried to hurt myself because I could not deal with it.
“I don’t want to tell you, but it’ll come out anyway. I have broken the law. It is very serious.”
Police were alerted and officers went on to discover Louise’s body in a bedroom.
Mr Ablett told the court: “A chocolate sweet wrapped in red foil and in the shape of a heart was found on the bed beside the body.”
Louise’s mobile phone was later checked and a number of messages to her son were found.
The advocate depute said: “It is suspected that Anderson was responsible for sending these texts to give the appearance that Louise was still alive.”
The court was told the exact cause of death was “less clear”, but that the mum had injuries consistent with “manual strangulation”.
Mr Ablett explained: “The pathologists consider it more likely that there was a firm grip maintained until death.
“This could have occurred as soon as 15 seconds after the pressure was applied.”
It emerged Louise’s family were “too upset” to complete a victim impact statement for the court.
Anderson’s lawyer said the case was a “tragedy” for all concerned.
Brian McConnachie, defending, said there had been a row prior the killing after they had returned from separate nights-out.
The QC added: “Miss O’Brien wanted to make something to eat…he did not want to and an argument ensued.”
The court heard Anderson went into a spare room, she confronted him before the killing occurred.
Lord Boyd said the jail-term would have been nine years, but for the guilty plea.