David Bond, 28, who has a 13-year history of random assaults on women, attacked Debbie Buxton, 35, with a hammer and one half of a pair of shears as she was walking her dogs on the riverbank at Marston on Dove, Derbyshire.
Nottingham Crown Court was told that Mrs Buxton, a stranger to Bond, was knocked unconscious by four hammer blows to the head. Bond then stabbed her 11 times from behind with such force that the shears passed right through her body seven times.
Sentencing Bond on what would have been Mrs Buxton's 37th birthday, Mr Justice Rougier said: 'It is quite obvious to me from the way she was killed and what you have done to other women that, for every moment you are free, no woman is free from danger or from fear.'
Previous victims of Bond, who were in court to hear the unanimous guilty verdict, argued later that more notice should have been taken of his previous crimes. The court was told Bond was first convicted in 1981, when he was 16, for jumping out at a former schoolfriend and striking her on the head as she walked along the street. He was sentenced to three years' supervision.
In 1985, he received five years' youth custody for three separate attacks on women. He called at his victims' houses and made excuses to gain entry before attacking them. There was no sexual or robbery motive for the attacks.
Bond served just two years for those attacks. Three days after his release in 1987, he attacked a 14- year-old girl and a 20-year-old woman in Nottingham. Like Mrs Buxton they were walking their dogs along a riverbank. Bond was jailed for eight years for assault with intent to rob and causing grievous bodily harm.
Again there appeared to be no sexual motive and no attempt to steal. Bond claimed he attacked the women for their handbags but neither was carrying one. He was released in January 1993 - again before he had served his full term. Eleven weeks later Mrs Buxton was dead.
Yesterday Tina Shipstone, who still bears scars from the Nottingham riverbank attack, wept in court as a police officer recalled how Bond slashed her with a knife. Her father Ken last night criticised the Parole Board for freeing Bond before he had fully served his sentence.
Mrs Buxton's husband, Ronald, said yesterday that he was relieved by the verdict and that the sentence was the best birthday present his wife could have had.
The court heard Mr Buxton was one of the first to arrive at the murder scene. He had flown in from a business trip in Paris to celebrate their second wedding anniversary. When he arrived at their home in Hatton, two miles from Marston, his wife was out. Knowing her habit of walking the Weimaraner dogs in the afternoon he went to the riverbank to look for her.
James Hunt QC, for the prosecution, told the jury: 'He asked two men if they had seen a lady walking two dogs. They had to tell him they had just found the body.' Bond, of Stretton, Staffordshire, was later picked out of an identity parade by witnesses who saw him near the riverbank, Mr Hunt said.
Bond was flanked by four dock officers and two policemen when the verdict was announced. He screamed he had been set up.