Asher Maslin, who stabbed his ex-girlfriend Hollie Gazzard to death at the hair salon where she worked, has been jailed for life.

Maslin, 22, was told he would have to serve a minimum of 24 years in prison.

The former security guard attacked his 20-year-old ex-girlfriend at the Fringe Benefits & La Bella Beauty salon in Gloucester on February 18.

Staff and customers tried to protect her, but Maslin cornered her and stabbed her 14 times with a £3 knife he had bought on the way to confront her. She had recently ended their relationship.

Police were already on their way to the salon as Ms Gazzard had asked colleagues to phone 999 immediately if Maslin turned up.

She was pronounced dead just over an hour after the attack at the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.

Maslin was arrested the following day and later admitted a charge of murder.

Sentencing him at Gloucester Crown Court, Mr Justice Teare said: "The number of stab wounds on a defenceless young woman show that this was a merciless killing.

"It was carried out in public, witnessed by customers of the salon, colleagues of Hollie Gazzard and by passers-by.

"Hollie Gazzard was 20 years of age and at the start of her adult life. As her father said, 'the world was at her feet'.

"Hollie's father and sister have described the devastating effect Hollie's death has had on them and on other members of the family."

The judge added that Maslin had taken cocaine and crack cocaine in the days before the killing.

As he was taken away, Maslin nodded to members of his family, who were weeping in the public gallery, and said: "Sorry."

Miss Gazzard suffered multiple wounds in the attack and died as a result of massive blood loss.

The court heard she was killed days after ending their relationship. Maslin also sent her threatening text messages before carrying out the attack.

Hollie's father Nick Gazzard said: "She was a character, she would keep you on your toes. She used to light up the room when she came home from work.

"It is such a loss now not to have her around. It was like a light bulb going on when she came in."

The family, from Churchdown, near Gloucester, have launched a foundation - the Hollie Gazzard Trust - in her memory, to protect young people from knife crime and domestic violence.

Solicitor Steven Young read a statement on behalf of Maslin's mother Sam outside the court.

It said: "Hollie's death has been a tragedy. She was a beautiful young woman and there was a time that she and Asher loved each other.

"Asher cannot explain whey he did what he did. All he can now do is express through us his deeply felt sorrow for the pain which he has caused to so many people."

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Bean said: "This horrific and violent attack was a spiteful and cowardly reaction by a self-obsessed individual who couldn't handle rejection."