A married man has been sent to jail after he choked his lover to death during sex.
Sam Pybus, a 32-year-old from Durham, was jailed this month for four years and eight months for the manslaughter of Sophie Moss, 33. Teesside Crown Court previously heard that he had drunk 24 bottles of lager when he applied pressure to Moss's neck for tens of seconds or even minutes at her flat in Darlington in February. The mother-of-two lost her life on the spot.
Pybus woke up to find Moss naked and unresponsive, but did not dial 999. He waited in his car for 15 minutes before driving to a police station where he admitted to the killing, but denied murder. He said that he had been in a casual relationship with the victim for three years, and she used to encourage him to strangle her during consensual sex, reports Mail Online.
The post-mortem examination of Moss determined that Pybus had applied enough pressure to her neck for long enough to kill, but there was no evidence of any other injuries or violence. The Crown Prosecution Service also told the court that there was not sufficient evidence to support a charge of murder as there was nothing to suggest he intended to kill his lover or cause serious harm.
Pybus was initially jailed for four years and eight months for the crime, but his sentence was later shortened to four years and eight months after Judge Paul Watson QC gave credit for his early guilty plea. However, Attorney General Suella Braverman has intervened in the matter by referring the "unduly lenient" jail term to the Court of Appeal.
A spokesperson from the Attorney General's Office said, "I can confirm that the Attorney General has referred Sam Pybus's sentence to the Court of Appeal as she agrees that it appears unduly lenient. It is now for the court to decide whether to increase the sentence."
Braveman's referral comes after Labour's Harriet Harman, who chairs Parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights, wrote to her to complain about the sentence. A campaign group "We Can't Consent To This" had also been protesting the reduced jail term.