A student who went on the run after stabbing a grandmother in the neck has admitted murdering her.
Alexander Carr, 33, appeared at Newcastle Crown Court via a videolink from prison to admit murdering Michelle Hanson in late November or early December.
The 47-year-old was a much-loved grandmother who was found dead at her home in Brady Street, Sunderland, having suffered suspected stab wounds.
Carr was named as the prime suspect as he was the last person to be seen with the mother-of-three at her flat, where investigators found discarded knives and forensic evidence linked to the defendant.
He was a student at the University of Sunderland, is from Wearside, and had links to London and several parts of the North East.
During the search for him, police said he was thought to have some survival skills and could have been hiding outdoors.
At the brief plea hearing at court, it was said that Carr suffered personality disorders at the time of the murder.
While Carr was on the run, Ms Hanson’s daughter Shannon Brown paid tribute to her mother and appealed for the public’s help in tracing him.
She said: “As a family, we are all devastated by what has happened.
“My mam was a caring, kind and loving person.
“She would never hurt anyone, even if someone did something to hurt her, she would forgive them because she always saw the good in people.
“She always got on with things and never gave up.
Outside court, senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Graeme Barr said: “Firstly I would like to praise the bravery and strength shown by Michelle’s family throughout these proceedings.
“Not only have they had to come to terms with the tragic loss of their mam and grandmother, but they also played a role in helping us to locate Carr, who was desperately trying to evade arrest.
“His despicable actions speak volumes.
“Carr murdered Michelle and then fled down south and went into hiding so he could not be held accountable.
“That arrogance and lack of remorse has been difficult for Michelle’s family to come to terms with, and we are thankful he is now behind bars, facing a life sentence for his actions.
“We know nothing can bring Michelle back but we hope today can serve as the first step towards the closure her family deserve.
“No one should have to lose a loved one in such horrific circumstances and as a Force, we are committed to tackling all types of violence, and ensuring perpetrators are brought to justice.”