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Sam Pybus: Man who strangled lover to death during ‘rough’ sex jailed

Sam Pybus applied ‘prolonged’ pressure to Sophie Moss’s neck (Picture: North News and Pictures)

A married man who choked his lover to death during ‘rough’ sex after drinking 24 bottles of beer has been jailed.

Sam Pybus, 32, drove from the house he shared with his wife to Sophie Moss’s Darlington flat, where he applied ‘prolonged’ pressure to her neck.

A judge accepted Pybus, who admitted manslaughter, did not intend to kill and his remorse was genuine.

The amount of pressure applied to the mother-of-two’s neck was towards the lower end of cases which resulted in death, Teesside crown court heard.

There was no sign of any other violence used or evidence of a fight.

Richard Wright QC, prosecuting, said Ms Moss lived alone and had a history of alcohol misuse, and had physical and mental health problems.

Pybus had been in a casual relationship with her for three years, seeing her for sex around six times a year without his wife’s knowledge.

He had drunk 24 bottles of Amstel lager over ten hours, and after his wife went to bed he drove round to the 33-year-old’s flat in the early hours of February 7.

At 4.43am he then drove to Darlington police station and told staff he believed he had strangled Ms Moss in her flat.

Officers found her lying naked and unresponsive in bed. Pybus was to tell detectives that during their casual sexual activity, he would apply pressure to her neck, ‘an act he said she encouraged and enjoyed’, Mr Wright said.

Sam Pybus admitted killing his victim by choking her (Picture: North News & Pictures)
Mr Wright said Pybus told detectives that ‘he must have strangled her but couldn’t remember doing so’ (Picture: North News & Pictures)

‘He said sex between them was rough and he would dominate her during sexual activity, but he said he would never hurt her.’

Pybus, of Middleton St George, Darlington, told police he could only recall coming around in his boxer shorts and finding her unconscious.

Mr Wright said Pybus told detectives that ‘he must have strangled her but couldn’t remember doing so’.

Jailing him for four years and eight months, Judge Paul Watson QC told the defendant: ‘This was a case in which you were voluntarily intoxicated, unable to judge the situation and perhaps to have stopped when it was obvious that you had gone too far.

‘It was obviously dangerous conduct, whether consensual or otherwise.’

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