Inderjit Ram, whose firm providing accommodation to vulnerable adults was on the verge of collapse, used a kitchen knife to kill 62-year-old colleague Belinda Rose during a meeting at one of his properties.
Birmingham Crown Court was told Ram, who also worked as a supply teacher, had asked to borrow thousands of pounds from support worker Ms Rose before attacking her with a carving knife.
The 52-year-old, who stabbed his victim five times in the body, admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility during a previous hearing in February.
Passing sentence on Monday, Judge Melbourne Inman QC said the killing in the Perry Barr area on August 17 last year came “out of nowhere” with catastrophic consequences.
The judge also ordered that Ram should be the subject of an extended five-year period of supervision after serving his 10-year term.
Judge Inman said of Ms Rose: “She leaves behind her grieving partner and family, many of whom have attended court today.
“I have read the very moving statements from them as to the depth and enduring nature of their grief.”
The judge said it was clear Ms Rose was a “very special” and well-liked individual who had spent her whole professional life looking after the vulnerable in society.
He then told Ram: “It’s clear from the evidence that you were in significant financial difficulties with your properties.
“Exactly what happened at the house when you met Belinda is not known.
“By the time you spoke to psychiatrists you said you had no recollection of what had occurred.
“What is clear from the evidence is that you launched a savage and brutal attack on her.
“This killing was a sudden explosion of catastrophic violence over an unremarkable disagreement.”
The court heard Ram, said by witnesses to have a supportive and amicable working relationship with Ms Rose, handed himself in to police shortly after the killing.
His victim had gone to a supported living home to meet Ram, where she was stabbed in the torso before being left on a sofa.
Ram, of Wensleydale Road, Birmingham, was said to have been acting normally in the hours before the killing, but family members had previously booked him a doctor’s appointment amid concern for his welfare.
Offering mitigation prior to sentence, defence QC Andrew Fisher said Ram had shown genuine remorse in a letter to the judge.
In the letter, Ram wrote that he had caused “indescribable and untold pain” to his colleague’s friends and family, and said he felt extreme shame, guilt and utter remorse.