Arthur Simpson-Kent sparked an international manhunt in January (16) after the bodies of Blake, 43, and their sons Zachary, eight, and Amon, four, were found at the family home in Kent, England, weeks after they were reported missing.

Simpson-Kent, 49, was traced to his native Ghana and extradited to the U.K. in February (16), when he was arrested upon arrival at London's Heathrow Airport.

He was subsequently charged with the murder of his family members, counts he pleaded guilty to during a court hearing in June (16).

The former hairdresser, who was remanded in custody, appeared in London's Old Bailey on Wednesday (05Oct16), when the court heard how he had planned the attack after learning Blake was leaving him.

Prosecutors recounted how Simpson-Kent had repeatedly battered the actress and their boys around the head, before stabbing them to death in December (15), and then burying their bodies in the garden.

Blake was unable to defend herself or her kids as she had been diagnosed with terminal motor neurone disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig's disease.

Handing down the punishment, the judge told Simpson-Kent he must serve a "whole life" term, with no chance of parole, reports the BBC.

Blake played seductress Frankie Pierre in British TV soap opera EastEnders from 1996 to 1997, appearing in 56 episodes. Her other TV work included stints in British medical dramas Casualty and Doctors, and police series The Bill.