Man who strangled woman during sex was more concerned about his dog’s fate and should be jailed longer, says estranged woman he also strangled in bed
- Sam Pybus, 32, killed Sophie Moss by putting pressure on her neck during sex
- His estranged wife Louise Pybus, 29, says he sent letters to her from prison
- She says letters ‘stank of self-pity’ and show no genuine remorse for actions
A man who strangled a woman during sex is more concerned about not seeing his dog than about showing remorse for his victim, his estranged wife said.
Sam Pybus, 32, was jailed last month for murdering Sophie Moss, a vulnerable 33-year-old mother of two, by putting pressure on her neck during sex and then claiming it was consensual.
The Crown Prosecution Service accepted a guilty plea to manslaughter after determining there was insufficient evidence to charge him with murder.
At Teeside Crown Court, Judge Paul Watson, QC, jailed Pybus for four years and eight months after giving him credit for his plea and finding that he was remorseful.
Sam Pybus (right) who killed Sophie Moss during sex is more concerned about not seeing his dog than about showing remorse for his victim, his wife Louise Pybus (left) said
But his estranged wife Louise Pybus has said the killer sent her letters from prison showing he’s more concerned about never seeing his Staffordshire terrier than expressing remorse for Sophie and her family.
The 29-year-old, who says she told police Pybus strangled her during sex but stopped when she said she didn’t like it, said his lack of remorse was an “insult” to Sophie’s family.
Ms Pybus, who has supported calls for his sentence to be extended, told Times Radio: “Although he has sent letters saying sorry – ‘I’m sorry I upset your family and I’m sorry I hurt you and everything. betrayed” – he never actually said in the letters: “I’m sorry I killed Sophie”.
Ms Pybus, who is awaiting finalization of their divorce, said in a letter that “smelled with self-pity” that he expressed concern that he would never see his dog again.
She added: “It is a huge insult to Sophie and her family that he writes letters like this saying he has a hard time when two children have lost their mother.”
Teesside Crown Court learned how Pybus had drunk 24 bottles of lager when he put pressure on her neck for tens of seconds or even minutes in her flat in Darlington in February.
Pybus (left) has admitted to killing Sophie Moss, 33, (right), who was found in critical condition after an incident at a Darlington property and has been sentenced to four years and eight months in prison
What is the regulation of a too light sentence?
The Wrongful Punishments Regulation provides that the public can ask the Attorney General to refer an under-sentenced sentence to the appeals court.
The Attorney General’s Office may, if requested, review very light sentences imposed by the Crown Court in England and Wales.
Only penalties for specific crimes can be reviewed, including murder, manslaughter and rape.
In order to meet the criteria to be judged as ‘unreasonably lenient’, the law states that the penalty imposed must ‘be outside the scope of penalties which the court, taking into account all relevant factors, might reasonably consider appropriate’.
Anyone can request that a sentence be reviewed – even if they are not directly involved in the case.
If the attorney general decides to send the case to the appeals court, it will decide whether to leave the sentence as it is, find it too lenient and increase it or refuse to hear the appeal.
Pybus awoke to find Ms Moss naked and unresponsive, but did not call 999, as she waited in his car for 15 minutes before driving to a police station to sound the alarm, the court heard.
An autopsy found that he had put pressure on her neck long enough to kill. There was no evidence of other injuries or violence.
The 32-year-old claimed to remember little of what happened, but said Sophie “encouraged and enjoyed” putting pressure on her neck.
The Crown Prosecution Service said there was not enough evidence to support a murder charge, as there was nothing to indicate he intended to kill or seriously harm her.
The married Pybus told police that he and Mrs Moss had been in a casual relationship for three years and that she encouraged him to strangle her during consensual sex.
The court heard Ms Moss’ long-term partner, unnamed in court, say the same.
Louise Pybus has previously criticized the investigators’ decision to investigate Sophie’s sexual history and not her husband’s.
She told ITV: ‘I think if the CPS and police had really looked at some of his past, they would have uncovered a history of sexual assault and emotional abuse. And above all a total lack of respect for women and misogyny.
“Instead, they set out to find evidence to support what Sam said.”
Last week, it was confirmed that the verdict had been referred to the Court of Appeal by the Attorney General under the too lenient sentence scheme, a move supported by Louise Pybus.
The appeal may lead to an extension of Pybus’ prison sentence if the court considers the original sentence to be unnecessarily lenient.
A spokesman for the Attorney General’s office said: “I can confirm that the Attorney General has referred Sam Pybus’ verdict to the appeals court as she agrees that it seems unreasonably lenient.
“It is now up to the court to decide whether to increase the sentence.”