Offenders responsible for sexually motivated manslaughter would face longer prison terms under a proposed law introduced in Parliament.
Ministers are being asked to support a minimum prison sentence of 12 years for involuntary manslaughter cases where there was an “obvious risk of serious harm” and the aim was sexual gratification.
Conservative lawmaker Laura Farris developed plans to amend the Penal Code amid concerns that the law does not adequately punish these crimes.
Recent cases have involved the killing of women in “really grim and often very violent circumstances” that have resulted in “deny” prison sentences of no more than six years, Farris said.
The Newbury MP, in her proposal to the Ministry of Justice, says that crimes are increasing because of “violent online pornography, which has increased degrading sexual practices of which young women are the main victims”.
Farris, speaking about his sexually motivated manslaughter (conviction) bill, told the PA news agency: “In all of these cases, the defendant was convicted of manslaughter and received a sentence of six years or less because it was determined that Category C case for sentencing purposes – that they did not intend to cause serious harm.
“People are getting paltry sentences for acts that a lot of people would think were pretty close to murder anyway, but because they had that kind of sexual context, they tend not to get prosecuted that way.”
Farris highlighted the case of Sam Pybus, who was jailed for four years and eight months last September after smothering his lover to death during sex.
He applied “prolonged” pressure to Sophie Moss’ neck at her home in Darlington.
Pybus admitted manslaughter and the sentencing judge accepted that the defendant did not intend to kill Ms. Moss.
An appeal to increase his sentence was rejected.
Ms Farris said: “Something went wrong in criminal law.
“I found some older cases that preceded the current sentencing guidelines and there was the case of James Morton.
“In that 2016 case, the judge said she considered the starting point mandatory – it was a fatal strangulation case, it was a 16-year-old girl the perpetrator met that night at a nightclub – it was 12 years old and she gave him 12 years.
“Something has gone wrong since the sentencing guidelines came in and it’s not fully capturing these cases.”
Farris said the law means it is currently possible to stay in jail longer for not killing someone by strangulation.
She explained: “We have this crazy situation right now where the government introduced clause 70 of the Domestic Abuse Act, which went into effect about a week ago, which creates a maximum sentence of five years for non-fatal strangulation.
Therefore, the law as it currently exists allows a greater penalty for not killing someone by strangulation in a sexual context than killing them. I think everyone would agree that something is wrong
Laura Farris deputy
“But you probably noticed in the Sam Pybus case that he got four and a half years, but he killed her.
“So the law, as it currently exists, allows a greater penalty for not killing someone by strangulation in a sexual context than killing them. I think everyone would agree that something is wrong.”
Farris added in his proposals: “This goes to the heart of the work on violence against women, and the fact that some degree of violence in sex has become normalized, I think particularly for young people, but it is something that is increasingly the experience. of young women.
“I think it’s very important that Parliament sends a clear message about how it sees this, how serious it is, especially if you kill someone – even if you are convicted of manslaughter and not murder, which puts you in a completely different category. – which creates a minimal penalty.”
Farris said the bill would allow an offender to demonstrate “exceptional circumstances” to ensure they do not receive 12 years in prison, adding that it would be developed through case law.
Mrs. Farris called for the bill to receive a second reading on Nov. 25, though it faces a battle to secure parliamentary time and advance all necessary steps.