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'Rough sex killer' who strangled mum to death could have jail-term extended

A MARRIED killer who choked his lover to death during sex will have his four-year soft sentence reviewed after it sparked an outcry.'Rough sex killer' who strangled mum to death could have jail-term extended

Sam Pybus downed 24 bottles of beer before leaving his wife to meet Sophie Moss at her home in Darlington.

The 32-year-old then strangled Sophie for several minutes until she was unresponsive during a sex session.

He then sat in his car for 15 minutes instead of helping the stricken mum-of-two or calling 999.

Pybus was yesterday caged for four years and eight months but will be released after just two years.

His sentence has now been sent to the Attorney General to be considered under the unduly lenient scheme.

Officials now have 28 days to decide whether or not to refer the jail term to the Court of Appeal where more time could be added on.

Pybus was charged with murder but was allowed to plead guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter due to lack of evidence he intended to seriously harm her.

She had agreed for him to apply "mild pressure" to her neck during sex in the past, Teesside Crown Court heard.

A change in law to ensure tougher sentences for so-called "rough sex" deaths came just two months after Pybus killed Sophie.

The loophole previously allowed abusers to get reduced sentences by claiming victims consented to attacks.

The court was told Pybus had secretly been meeting up with single mum Sophie for sex around six times a year for three years.

On February 7, he left his wife after sinking beer to meet his lover where he choked her to death.'Rough sex killer' who strangled mum to death could have jail-term extended

At 4.43am, Pybus drove to a police station and told stunned officers he believed he had strangled Sophie but "couldn't remember doing so".

When police arrived at her home, they discovered her lying naked and unresponsive in bed.


Pybus later told police he would sometimes apply pressure to Sophie's neck, claiming it was "an act she encouraged and enjoyed".

Richard Wright QC, prosecuting, added: "He said sex between them was rough and he would dominate her during sexual activity, but he said he would never hurt her."

Campaigners blasted the lenient sentence and welcomed the change in the law.

Teresa Parker, of Women's Aid, said: "This low sentence shows exactly why it was so important to outlaw the so-called 'rough sex' defence.

"This defence has routinely been used by men who have killed women to secure a lower sentence.

"In 45 per cent of cases in which a man kills a woman during a sexual act and claims she gave consent, the defence of 'consent for sexual gratification' succeeds, leading to lower sentences.

"Four years and eight months for a woman's life sends a terrifying message to women living with violent and abusive partners.

"This recent change to the law could not be any more vital."